- Posted on- Mar 27, 2015
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Hypothyroidism is a health condition that occurs when the thyroid gland produces extremely less amounts of thyroid hormone. Since the prime purpose of thyroid hormone is to maintain body’s metabolism levels, patients suffering from hypothyroidism have slow metabolism. Women over 60 are vulnerable to hypothyroidism. The ailment interferes with the balance of chemical reactions in the body. Often the symptoms show up early, but, if left untreated can lead to severe consequences like obesity, infertility or heart disease.
Causes of hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland fails to produce adequate hormones. It can happen due a number of reasons including:
- Hashimoto's thyroiditis (a particular inflammatory disease) is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. When the immune system produces antibodies that attack own tissues, it paves way for autoimmune diseases. This process involves the thyroid gland, albeit sometimes.
- Patients who suffer from hyperthyroidism are treated with anti-thyroid medications and radioactive iodine therapy to restore balance of thyroid hormone. In some cases, treatment of hyperthyroidism can lead to hypothyroidism.
- Thyroid surgery is one of the reasons behind hypothyroidism because it involves removing certain portion of thyroid gland which halts hormone production.
- Radiation therapy used to treat head and neck cancer can affect thyroid gland leading to hypothyroidism.
- Iodine deficiency has virtually been rectified in most countries. However, if one consumes more than required iodine, he becomes a recipient of hypothyroidism.