Causes of HypothyroidismThe thyroid gland is a major organ in the human body primarily responsible for producing hormones that regulate metabolism. These hormones are T3 and T4, both of which are necessary to regulate the body and allow it to function well. Any excess or insufficiency would warrant immediate medical attention.
A deficiency in these hormones would mean an underlying condition called hypothyroidism (hypo meaning low). Such a condition usually results from one of the below conditions or situations.
Congenital HypothyroidismCongenital hypothyroidism is hypothyroidism that is present at birth and may be diagnosed with government mandated newborn screening. It is important that this test is performed since this condition may be asymptomatic at first and of course, babies can't talk.
Hashimoto's ThyroiditisHashimoto's Thyroiditis is an ailment common in children that was discovered in Japan in 1912. It is an auto-immune disease, which means that the body responds inappropriately making the immune system fight against itself. If left untreated and improperly diagnosed, it may cause a series of other medical conditions and mental retardation.
Iodine Deficiency Causes HypothyroidismInsufficient intake of iodine can lead to goiter and cretinism. It may also eventually result in other serious symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Thyroid Removal Causes HypothyroidismHypothyroidism occurs in cases where surgical removal of the thyroid is required, such as thyroid cancer. Thyroid removal would mean the absence of the only gland in the body that produces the thyroid hormones, thus causing the body to be deficient in thyroid hormones.
Medications Can Cause HypothyroidismSome medications can cause hypothyroidism: lithium, for example, which is prescribed to treat psychological disorders especially for manic-depressive patients, and amiodarone, a regimen for anti-arrythmia given to people with heart conditions. Both examples will have massive side effects on the thyroid gland, causing hormonal imbalances.
Are Hypothyroidism Causes Hereditary Or Contagious?Hypothyroidism is not contagious, so even if you are exposed to a person's sneeze who suffers from hypothyroidism, you might catch a cold but not hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is hormonal in nature. Therefore it is more likely to be transmitted to children of parents already suffering hypothyroidism. It is 10% more likely to affect female descendants than males.
How Is Hypothyroidism Diagnosed?Hypothyroidism is usually diagnosed in one of two main ways:
- In babies 24 hours after birth, they are diagnosed using the newborn screening test. This is a simple procedure wherein a blood sample from the baby may be taken from a heel prick or a direct vein puncture. The samples are then sent to a laboratory and the results show if the baby has hypothyroidism or not.
- In adults, a thyroid function test is performed using standard phlebotomy measures by a blood test. Little preparation is needed since this test does not require a person to fast.
Managing HypothyroidismFor parents whose babies were diagnosed with hypothyroidism, strict adherence to the treatment is a must to ensure proper growth and development of the infant. Love and care is necessary to assure the child has his or her specials needs met on a daily basis, allowing him or her to attain full potential.
In adults who have hypothyroidism, the goal is to live life as normally as possible. Follow and schedule regular visits with your doctor to check if your hormonal balance has been restored.