Health A-Z

Hypothyroidism – Symptoms, Causes, Effect, And Treatment


Hypothyroidism is a common disease, which happens due to a lack of production and release of thyroid hormone in your bloodstream. It causes the metabolism to slow down and make you feel tired, discomfort from cold temperatures, weight gain, coma, etc. 

The absence of thyroid hormone can slow down many body functions, such as heartbeat, digestive system, etc. Hypothyroidism is much more common in women than men. Also, people over the age of 60 are at high risk of getting affected by this condition. However, hypothyroidism can happen at any age and to anyone.

Primarily, the condition is identified by observing the symptoms or a blood test. The mild form of this condition is known as subclinical hypothyroidism. Before you know about the treatment, effect, and causes, you need to know the symptoms to identify the condition as soon as possible. 

Early direction is beneficial for treatment and prevents the condition from becoming severe as it can be life-threatening. So, here are the symptoms that you might find in the case of hypothyroidism. 

Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism 

Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism 

Based on hormone deficiency severity, hypothyroidism symptoms might vary from one to another. The symptoms tend to develop very slowly over the years. So, you will get a lot of time to observe them and take precautions. In the beginning, you may not notice any symptoms as tiredness and fatigue are mostly neglected. 

However, the low metabolism will start creating problems for your eventually. Some of the symptoms that you might notice are given below. 

  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Puffy face
  • Thinning hair 
  • Depression 
  • Muscle tenderness, aches, stiffness 
  • Slow heart rate 
  • Impaired memory 
  • Hoarseness 
  • Intolerance to cold
  • Weight gain 
  • Muscle weakness
  • Irregular or heavier menstrual period 
  • Pain, swelling, and stiffness in joints 
  • Goiter 
  • Increased level of cholesterol 
  • Decreased sweating 

The symptoms can vary if any baby or infant develops this condition. However, here are some common symptoms that can be seen in babies and newborns with hypothyroidism.

  • Umbilical hernia 
  • Breathing difficulties 
  • Skin turning yellow
  • Hoarse crying 
  • Protruding tongue 
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Bad muscle tone 

If you identify any of these symptoms of hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor and receive treatment as soon as possible. Please do not ignore the symptoms, or they can become much more severe and life-threatening. 

Hypothyroidism Causes 

Hypothyroidism Causes

As mentioned above, the primary cause of hypothyroidism is the lack of production and release of hormones from the thyroid gland. However, this condition can develop for many other causes. If you want to know what causes hypothyroidism, then here are some of the common causes given below in detail. 

  • Thyroid Surgery Thyroid Surgery 

Among all the other ones, this is a widespread cause of hypothyroidism. During thyroid surgery, a large portion of the gland gets removed, which can interrupt hormone production. 

  • Autoimmune Disease 

Hashimoto thyroiditis is an autoimmune system that can cause hypothyroidism. In this case, the body confuses normal cells with invading cells and attacks the healthy tissues. This is an autoimmune response that can cause hypothyroidism by attacking the thyroid gland. The inflammation caused by the attack can disrupt hormone production. 

  • Medications 


There are some medications that can contribute to this condition. One of the most common and well-known medications is lithium that is used to treat psychiatric disorders. Apart from this one, there are many others that you need to ask your doctor about before taking them. If it affects your thyroid gland, then you might have to change the medicine. 

  • Radiation Therapy 

Radiation therapy is commonly used in the case of cancer. However, if the treatment is done at the head and neck, it may affect the hormone production thyroid gland resulting in hypothyroidism. 

  • Hypothyroidism Treatment 

Hypothyroidism Treatment

Like low production, many people are treated because of the overproduction of hormones from the thyroid gland. To decrease the production and bring it back to normal, patients are treated with anti-thyroid medicines or radioactive iodine. However, the medication sometimes reduces the production less than regular, which end up developing hypothyroidism.  

Hypothyroidism Effects 

Hypothyroidism Effects 

There are many risks and effects associated with hypothyroidism that can be life-threatening. Leaving the condition untreated for a long time can lead to many severe diseases. Here are some of them mentioned in detail to help you know more. 

  • Mental Health Problems 

Mental Health Problems

Hypothyroidism can cause depression in the early stages. Although it is mild in most cases, it can become severe with time and cause many mental health issues by interrupting functioning. 

  •  Heart Issues 

Heart Issues 

One of the most common effects of hypothyroidism is heart disease and failure. It can happen due to high levels of bad cholesterol or low-density DL cholesterol. 

  • Myxedema 

If hypothyroidism is left untreated for a long time, then this condition can occur. It is a life-threatening condition with some symptoms like drowsiness, cold tolerance, unconsciousness, and lethargy. If you identify any of these symptoms, then take medical help immediately. 

Apart from these, there are some other effects that you might develop, such as congenital disabilities in pregnant women with hypothyroidism, infertility, goiter, peripheral neuropathy, and others. 

Hypothyroidism Treatment 

Hypothyroidism Treatment 

For the early detection cases of hypothyroidism, levothyroxine is used daily. It is an oral medication that restores hormone levels and reduces symptoms. Along with that, this treatment also reduces elevated cholesterol levels. In most cases of hypothyroidism, levothyroxine treatment is used lifelong, but the doses might change every year. 

However, it might take some time for the doctors to set the right dosage of levothyroxine. The doctor generally observes the TSH every six to eight weeks, and blood levels are checked every six months. Crossing the regular hormone limit can result in many side effects. If you take other medications like calcium supplements, iron supplements, multivitamins, and others, talk to the doctor before taking levothyroxine. 


If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, go through this journal to know more about its symptoms, causes, effects, and treatments. It will help you a lot to understand more about the condition and treatment process.

Read Also:

What Are Cholesterol Levels And How To Maintain It?

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