The main cause of hypothyroidism is low levels of hormones released by the thyroid gland. This manifestation may be a result of the following:
- autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto thyroiditis
- radiation therapy from cancer patients
- treatment for hyperthyroidism which can result in permanent hypothyroid condition
- medications like the ones used in treating psychiatric disorders
- removal of the thyroid gland that results in permanent hypothyroidism
- congenital disease in rare cases
- pregnancy (abnormality in hormones)
- pituitary disorders that may result in the hyposecretion of hormones
Anyone can acquire hypothyroidism. However, it is most common in women ages 50 years and above. You could also be at higher risk of acquiring the disease if you have a close relative who has the same disorder. If you are treated with anti-thyroid medication or if you have been treated with radiation therapies, you can also be a candidate for hypothyroidism.
Complications of Hypothyroidism
A number of other health problems may result as a complication of hypothyroidism. This includes the following: heart problems, goiter, myxedema coma, birth defects, mental health issues, and infertility.
To avoid having these complications, you need to be diagnosed with the disease as early as possible. The doctor also has to control the right amount of medication to prevent the adverse effects of the drugs.
Treatment for Hypothyroidism
Daily intake of synthetic thyroid hormones is the number one therapy for this condition. Levothyroxine is the drug of choice for this disease. You can purchase the medication under various brand names like: Unithroid, Synthroid, Levothroid, and Levoxyl. Your body shifts back to its normal metabolic gear once this drug is taken regularly.
When using Levothyroxine, you need to make sure that the drug is absorbed by the body. You have to avoid substances which may affect the absorption rate. Drugs that need to be avoided are: iron supplements, calcium supplements, aluminum hydroxide, and cholestyramine. The doctor may replace these medications with other drug therapies to ensure that Levothyroxine is absorbed by the body.
Alternative Therapies for Hypothyroidism
Although synthetic thyroid preparations are created, there may be natural extracts from certain medicinal plants that may work effectively in treating your condition. However, some of these supplements are not approved by the experts. You need to research the supplements before using them. Some doctors recommend the use of herbal preparations. However, doctors rely mostly on FDA approved drugs that work best in treating your hypothyroid.