What Causes Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism can be caused a few different ways. First of all, a bit about what hypothyroidism is. Everyone has a gland that produces a certain amount of thyroid hormones that are an important part of the way your body functions. If the thyroid glands stop producing enough of these hormones, then it creates a problem called hypothyroidism. Everything slows down and doesn’t run as well because the hormones almost act like a kick to push many internal things to work. Hypothyroidism is also known as having an under active thyroid.
One of the main causes of hypothyroidism is another disorder called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. This is an auto immune disease in which the body attacks good elements of itself instead of the bad ones that it is actually designed to. This causes new problems just like in any other auto immune disease. When the antibodies begin to attack thyroid gland cells it makes it more difficult for the thyroid gland to produce the hormones and function as it normally would therefore producing hypothyroidism.
Iodine deficiency is also a main cause of hypothyroidism in more ways than one. If a person is lacking in iodine they can develop hypothyroidism although it is found to be a lot less common in western society as opposed to third world countries and any area where it is more difficult to get iodine enriched foods such as seafood. They will develop one or more of the following symptoms: loss of energy, exhaustion, lack of concentration and focus, memory loss, dizzy spells, dry hair, nails and skin, and pain or weakness in muscle joints.
If a woman falls pregnant while she has an iodine deficiency the baby can be born with hypothyroidism. Again, being more common in countries where there is a lack in iodine and also hard to pick up if the place where the baby’s born does not do a heel prick test when the baby is born. More common in some places, the heel prick test will tell a doctor in the first few days of a child’s life if it has been born with hypothyroidism. If the baby has been born with it then the doctor will start treatment immediately and the baby is unlikely to be permanently affected by it.
If it is not picked up early, the parents may not realise that their baby even has hypothyroidism and the longer it goes untreated the more likely that the baby will be affected permanently. It’s growth and development may be slowed down to the point that it is very noticeable around children of the same age. Mental development is also slowed and the child may never reach it’s full mental potential. It may even need help functioning and performing everyday tasks for the rest of it’s life which is why it is so important that we pick up on this in children.