Causes , Symptoms and Treatment

Preview Of Hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland is located in front of the neck just below the voice box. It releases hormones that control metabolism. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not secrete and synthesize enough thyroid hormone.


The most common cause of hypothyroidism is thyroiditis. This happens when the swelling and inflamation damage the thyroid gland's cells. Other causes of hypothyroidism include:

  • Drugs such as lithium and amiodarone
  • Congenital (birth) defects
  • Radiation treatments to the neck or brain to treat different cancers
  • Surgical removal of a part or all of the thyroid gland
  • Sheehan syndrome, a condition which may occur in women while childbirth causing destruction of the pituitary gland due to heavy bleeding.


Symptoms of hypothyroidism include :

  • weight gain
  • weakness
  • paleness or dry skin
  • hard stool/constipation
  • increased sensitivity to cold
  • hair thinning
  • slow reflexes


The purpose of treatment is to replace the thyroid hormone that is lacking. Levothyroxine is the most commonly used medication which will bring the hormone level back to normal.

Myxedema coma is a medical emergency that occurs when the body's level of thyroid hormones become very low.It is treated with intravenous thyroid hormone replacement and steroid medications.

Children having hypothyroidism often require large doses.