By Ireny Sharkawy AND Maria Harb Date: 12/4/14 2nd Block


  • Is a condition where the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone.
  • Low levels of thyroid hormone interfere with the body’s ability to perform normal metabolic functions
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Hypothyroidism Causes

The most common causes are surgical removal of your thyroid, autoimmune diseases, and radiation treatment.

  • Surgical Removal - It is necessary to treat hyperthyroidism, or tumors of the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism will occur when the entire gland is removed.
  • Autoimmune Diseases - Cause the production of antibodies that attack the thyroid gland. Autoimmune thyroiditis can appear suddenly or develop over several years, is more common in women. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and atrophic thyroiditis are the most common types.
  • Radiation Treatment - Radiation treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma and cancers of the head and neck can injure the thyroid gland. The gland cannot produce enough thyroid hormone to keep metabolism running smoothly. Radioactive iodine (I-131) destroys the thyroid gland and used to treat people with Grave’s disease and thyroid cancer.
  • There are many other causes.

Hypothyroidism Symptoms

The Most common signs of hypothyroidism are:

  • Dry and itchy skin.
  • Dry and brittle hair.
  • Muscle cramps at night.

untreated hypothyroidism can cause obesity,joint pain, heart disease, and infertility

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Hypothyroidism Risk Factors

  • Women over age 50.
  • People with autoimmune diseases or a parent or grandparent with an autoimmune disease.
  • People given radioactive iodine or radiation therapy
  • People treated with antithyroid medication
  • Those with a history of radiation to the neck and upper chest people with a partial thyroidectomy (removal of the thyroid)
  • Post-partum females
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Hypothyroidism Diagnosis

  1. Doctor first conducts a physical exam and reviews of the medical history. This can reveal any of the various causes (surgery, radiation, autoimmune diseases).
  2. Doctor can then administer a blood test (In hypothyroidism, T4 is low and TSH is high)
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Hypothyroidism Treatment

Replace thyroxine with a specific synthetic thyroid hormone, levothyroxine.

  • while taking levothyroxine avoid consuming foods rich in soy and fiber; they can interfere with levothyroxine absorption

Hypothyroidism Prevention/Cure

There is no known prevention for hypothyroidism, nor is there a cure. Once you have it, you have it for life.


"Hypothyroidism." Healthline. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.