Hypothyroidism — a disease caused by deficient in the body of thyroid hormones. This usually occurs when the reduction or complete loss of function of the thyroid gland.

There are primary and secondary hypothyroidism:

  • Primary hypothyroidism due to pathology of the thyroid gland, which results in a decreased production of hormones;
  • Hypothyroidism involves a violation of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus that regulate the production of thyroid hormones (thyroid hormone).

According to statistics, hypothyroidism — one of the most common diseases of the endocrine system. Very often the disease is common in women over 65, as well as in inland regions.


Hypothyroidism occurs most often on a background of chronic autoimmune thyroiditis— Thyroid inflammation associated with immune disorders (autoantibody formation).

Other causes of primary hypothyroidism:

  • congenital hypoplasia (reduction), and aplasia of the thyroid gland;
  • hereditary defects caused by the biosynthesis of thyroid hormones;
  • undergone surgery on the thyroid gland — strumectomy;
  • treatment of toxic goiter with radioactive iodine and ionizing irradiation of the thyroid gland (postradiation hypothyroidism);
  • Insufficient intake of iodine in the diet (endemic goiter and cretinism);
  • the effects of some drugs;
  • tumors, acute and chronic infection of the thyroid gland (thyroiditis, abscess, tuberculosis, actinomycosis, etc.).

Secondary hypothyroidism may occur in inflammation, swelling, hemorrhage, necrosis, or injury pituitary and / or hypothalamus, as well as removing the pituitary (surgical and radiation hypophysectomy) — With the release of thyroid-stimulating hormone deficient pituitary gland or hypothalamus tireoliberina.

What's going on?

As the number of hormones thyroid the metabolism in the body, performance decreases cardiovascular system gastrointestinal tract, mental, and sexual activity. Symptoms of hypothyroidism develop slowly, imperceptibly, so patients for a long time do not go to the doctor.

When the disease is marked:

  • lethargy, drowsiness;
  • impairment of memory, attention and mental activity;
  • intolerance to heat and cold;
  • dry skin, hair loss;
  • swelling;
  • weight gain;
  • constipation;
  • women — a violation of menstruation, men — reduced potency and sex drive.

Severe, life-threatening complication of hypothyroidism is hypothyroid coma, developing in elderly patients with untreated. When coma is a loss of consciousness and oppression of all organs of the body.

Hypothyroid coma may be precipitated by cooling, trauma, myocardial infarction, acute infectious and other diseases.

Diagnosis and treatment

The diagnosis of "hypothyroidism" sets Endocrinologist on the basis of complaints and examination of the patient, as well as research data:

  • blood tests for thyroid hormones (thyroxine and triiodothyronine) and thyroid-stimulating hormone— Hypothyroidism marked reduced levels of thyroid hormones in the blood level of thyroid stimulating hormone may be raised as well as lowered;
  • Biochemical analysis of blood — with hypothyroidism show increased levels of cholesterol and other lipids;
  • to determine the size and structure of the thyroid gland shows how to perform ultrasound;
  • in some cases may require that the scintigraphy of thyroid fine-needle biopsy or fine needle.

The mainstay of treatment — replacement therapy with thyroid hormones. Endocrinologist selects the desired dose depending on the severity and duration of the disease, age of the patient and the presence of concomitant diseases.

Drugs are well tolerated and easy to use. Typically, the drug should be taken once a day. In most cases, treatment is lifelong. For the control of treatment need to visit an endocrinologist on a regular basis (once a year) to check the levels of thyroid hormones and thyroid stimulating hormone.

If the cause of the disease — reducing the consumption of iodine in the diet, the patient can be iodine-containing drugs, it is recommended to eat more seafood, iodized salt.

Compliance with the recommendations of the doctor and the right supplementation can completely eliminate the symptoms of hypothyroidism. If hypothyroidism is not treated, the patient's condition deteriorates. Untreated hypothyroidism in children leads to irreversible stunted growth, physical and mental development. In the elderly can develop severe, often fatal complication — hypothyroid coma.

Prevention of hypothyroidism is:

  • compliance with diet, ensuring adequate intake of iodine in the body,
  • timely treatment of diseases of the thyroid gland.

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