The Main Causes and Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in Women After the Age of 50

Hypothyroidism is a disease that develops due to the insufficient production of hormones in the thyroid. Hypothyroid insufficiency is not an independent disease so it often coexists with another pathology. Congenital hypothyroidism is especially dangerous in children so it requires immediate treatment. Without drug therapy, mental retardation and irreversible intelligence damage may occur.

The main functions of thyroid hormones include:

  • growth and full development of the body
  • metabolic processes regulation
  • nervous system stimulation
  • genital, mammary, and adrenal glands function activation
  • immune system regulation
  • cardiovascular system regulation

Residents of large cities are more susceptible to this disease. This is explained by poor environmental conditions and the lack of iodine prophylaxis. Women suffer from hypothyroidism five times more often than men.

Signs of Primary Hypothyroidism

Primary hypothyroidism is associated with the pathology of the thyroid gland, leading to inhibition of the synthesis of hormones T4 and T3, and a decrease in the mass of glandular tissue. The causes of the pathology can be iodine and selenium deficiency, aplasia of the thyroid gland, tumors, uncontrolled intake of certain drugs, radiation, and autoimmune disorders. Signs of primary hypothyroidism are lethargy, drowsiness, dry skin, constipation, memory impairment, and swelling.

Hypothyroidism divides into two types which are congenital and acquired. Congenital caused by a mutation (congenital malformation) of the gene responsible for the formation of the thyroid gland. Acquired includes such subspecies as primary, secondary, peripheral, subclinical, (subclinical hypothyroidism in newborns) and transient.

Clinical Manifestations of Hypothyroidism

The skin. The skin becomes pale and slightly yellowish, the structure of the hair is disturbed, and the face puffiness is observed.

Musculoskeletal system. Decreased muscle tone, severe weakness, the presence of cramps and pain in certain muscle groups. Sometimes muscle stiffness can present.

Central nervous system. Decreased memory, hearing, visual acuity, depression, and apathy. The patient also complains of numbness of the limbs. 

The cardiovascular system. Pain behind the sternum, bradycardia, decreased blood pressure and increased heart size.

Endocrine disorders. Impaired adrenal function, amenorrhea, galactorrhea, decreased libido, obesity.

Hypothyroidism Diagnosis 

The diagnosis is made on the basis of anamnesis, the examination of the patient and the results of clinical exams (blood biochemistry, general blood test, and analyses for thyroid hormones T3, T4, and TSH). Additional examination methods include ECG, ECHO KG (echocardiography), ultrasound of the thyroid gland, and thyroid scintigraphy with radioactive iodine. In some cases, consultation with a physician and cardiologist may be required.

Postoperative Hypothyroidism

This is a common diagnosis in 20% of women and 10% of men after thyroid surgery. The presence of diabetes mellitus, anemia, and renal failure are also predisposing factors. Symptoms of postoperative hypothyroidism include thermoregulation and metabolic processes disorders, malfunctions of the cardiovascular system, pathology of the digestive tract, and muscle atrophy.

Hypothyroidism Treatment

Substitution therapy is performed to eliminate the symptoms of thyroid failure. Drugs are selected individually. The dosage and duration of treatment are determined by the doctor. Commonly prescribed medications include sodium levothyroxine, thyroxine, triiodothyronine, and thyroidin. With the appearance of edema, the administration of diuretics in small doses is justified. In the case of severe depression, sedatives are recommended.

When treating hypothyroidism weight loss therapy is very important. Special diet normalizes the functioning of organs and corrects weight. Nutritionists recommend fractional nutrition (5-6 times a day) in small portions. Products stimulating the production of gastric juice must be removed from the diet. In addition, it is necessary to reduce the consumption of muffins, rich broths, lard, sauces, and mushrooms. Once every ten days you can spend fasting days with juices and fruits.

Comprehensive hypothyroidism treatment with strict adherence to all doctor's prescriptions will help minimize the clinical manifestations of pathology.

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