Hypothyroidism is a set of clinical factors caused by a deficiency or lack of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). It is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too few hormones relative to the body's needs. As a result, there may be insufficient expression of T3 in the body's cells.
The thyroid gland is an organ located at the base of the neck. It is responsible for producing and releasing hormones - triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) - which regulate the function of most tissues in the body, affecting the metabolism of our body and thermogenesis (heat production). Thyroid function is controlled by the pituitary gland, which releases thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to stimulate the thyroid to produce hormones: T3 and T4.
There are two types of hypothyroidism: primary and secondary. Primary hypothyroidism occurs when there is damage to the structure of the thyroid gland, resulting in a decrease in T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) hormones. Secondary hypothyroidism occurs when the structure of the thyroid gland is not damaged, but due to dysfunction of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus, which control the thyroid's function, there are disturbances resulting in the gland secreting insufficient amounts of its hormones.
The most classical symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Decreased body temperature (feeling cold)
- Decreased metabolic rate (often associated with weight gain)
- Dry and rough skin
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Irregular or absent menstrual periods
- Gynecomastia (enlarged breasts) in men
Symptoms of hypothyroidism can be divided into local and related to thyroid hormone deficiency. At the beginning of the disease, the thyroid gland may be enlarged. During the course of the disease, the gland becomes smaller and nodules may also appear.
Symptoms related to the disease develop slowly, as the thyroid gland is gradually destroyed and the production of thyroid hormones decreases. The severity of the symptoms depends primarily on the duration of hypothyroidism and the degree of hormone deficiency. It is worth emphasizing that such disorders are becoming increasingly common, aided by factors such as stress, the pace of life, pollution, smoking, alcohol, poor dietary habits, and lack of sleep.
If you suspect hypothyroidism while reading the above symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. Time plays an important role in this condition!
- Kokocińska - Hypothyroidism
- Jarosz - Nutrition in hypothyroidism.