What is Hypothyroidism?


Infants with congenital hypothyroidism should be treated as soon as possible after birth. Early treatment can prevent stunted growth, cretinism syndrome, and intellectual disability. While many children and teens will eventually grow out of mild hypothyroidism, symptoms can persist throughout adulthood. The symptoms can include problems with attention, memory, and mental processing. People with severe hypothyroidism can have attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity.

Myxedema coma

Hypothyroidism is a common cause of myxedema coma, a condition in which the affected person loses the ability to function normally. In this case, the patient may require emergency room treatment, including shock, low blood pressure, hypothermia, or electrolyte abnormalities. The patient may also show other signs of hypothyroidism, including fever and changes in behavior. In this case, the doctor may start treatment with hormone replacement therapy and perform other tests.

Hypothyroidism is a common problem affecting around 5 to 10 percent of the population. If left untreated, it can lead to severe decompensation and even death. However, if the condition is diagnosed early, the risk of developing a myxedema coma is reduced.

Hypothyroidism can also lead to other medical complications, including respiratory failure and infection. It is more common in women and older people. It can also occur during pregnancy. Severe hypothyroidism can lead to myxedema coma, which requires hospitalization and thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

Iodine deficiency

Iodine deficiency is linked to a range of diseases, including hypothyroidism. This condition has been known to have detrimental effects on development at all stages of life, but it is particularly detrimental to the developing brain. Thyroid hormones regulate the brain cortex’s migration, proliferation, differentiation, and overall architecture. A deficiency can lead to several symptoms, including low thyroid function, miscarriage, and brain damage.

In adults, low serum thyroid hormone levels are indicative of iodine deficiency. In children, iodine deficiency is associated with a disproportionately high incidence of goiter, and it is more common in girls than boys. Iodine deficiency is also associated with reduced IQ scores and learning disabilities among school-age children. Three meta-analyses on iodine and learning disabilities found that chronic iodine deficiency was associated with lower IQ scores. However, these studies were based on observational data and thus could be influenced by social factors.

Women who take supplemental iodine during pregnancy may give birth to babies with congenital hypothyroidism. These babies can suffer from mental or developmental problems and could also have heart problems. Although it is uncommon to experience iodine poisoning, it is a potential risk that should be considered. The most effective way to determine if a patient has an iodine deficiency is to have a thyroid test. This way, healthcare providers can monitor their iodine intake to ensure that they are not missing any iodine in their diet.


Hypothyroidism is a complex condition with multiple genetic factors related to the thyroid gland. While every person has a unique genetic code, certain people are more susceptible to hypothyroidism than others. For example, many people at risk for hypothyroidism have a mutation in the MTHFR gene. This gene controls the production of an enzyme that breaks down the amino acid homocysteine, a component of dietary protein. High levels of homocysteine can damage blood vessels and cause blood clots. Individuals with this gene mutation are also at increased risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.

The genetics of hypothyroidism has many important implications for treating thyroid disorders. It is important to note that a genetic variant is not a disease guarantee, and people should not rely on it as the sole source of their health status. Genetic testing can lead to errors, so it is not a substitute for a thorough evaluation of symptoms.


Hypothyroidism treatment involves a combination of traditional and alternative approaches. The standard approach involves the replacement of T4 in the body. T4 is a prohormone or non-active form of the thyroid hormone. It is converted to T3 in the tissues when it is needed.

There are many complications of untreated hypothyroidism. Patients often develop hypertension, dyslipidemia, infertility, cognitive impairment, and neuromuscular dysfunction. Its prevalence increases with age. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is primary gland failure or insufficient stimulation of the thyroid gland. The most accurate laboratory test to diagnose thyroid function is serum thyroid-stimulating hormone.

Treatment for hypothyroidism can involve the replacement of the thyroid hormone with a synthetic hormone. This is known as thyroid hormone replacement therapy and is usually a combination of levothyroxine. Levothyroxine is available in generic and brand-name forms and is usually taken on an empty stomach once a day. Unlike natural thyroid hormone, this treatment must be taken for life to see positive results.