Hypothyreosis. lack of thyroid hormones

Hypothyroidism is a disease that occurs due to a lack of thyroid hormones. 

This dysfunction of the thyroid gland occurs quite often with its various diseases, more often women suffer from this ailment. In some countries, up to 50% of the female adult population suffers from hypothyroidism. Therefore, the treatment of this disease is a task, the solution of which is always of interest to patients and doctors.

Diagnosis of the amount of thyroid hormone production is carried out using a special blood test, primarily for the presence of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). An increase in TSH indicates a malfunction of the thyroid gland. If the T4 hormone remains normal, then the patient’s diagnosis is “subclinical hypothyroidism”. If the T4 level is low, then we are talking about “clinical hypothyroidism”, which is necessary, important and must be treated.

This disease in our time is not fatal. And its complexity is only in one thing – you need to identify it in time. In some cases, the symptoms are so mild or practically absent that it can be very difficult to suspect a thyroid disorder.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism

Lack of thyroid hormones is characterized by:

  • depression and apathy, drowsiness, weakness, fatigue, tearfulness, insomnia, memory impairment and concentration;
  • poor cold tolerance;
  • muscle weakness, arthralgia, paresthesia;
  • increased dry skin and hyperkeratosis in the area of ​​elbows, knees and soles, brittle nails and hair loss;
  • swelling of the face, feet and hands, which is distinguished by a noticeable density, while the diuretic only enhances the disturbances in water-salt metabolism;
  • disruptions in the process of fat metabolism, an increase in cholesterol (causes the development of atherosclerosis);
  • weight gain, without the ability to lose extra pounds;
  • violation of the process of hematopoiesis (anemia);
  • violation of glucose tolerance, possibly the development of diabetes mellitus;
  • bradycardia, angina pectoris, arrhythmia, shortness of breath;
  • decreased appetite;
  • excessive gas formation and constipation;
  • violation of the menstrual cycle, possible amenorrhea, infertility, and in the menopause – frequent uterine bleeding.

How is hypothyroidism treated?

Hypothyroidism has a lot of varieties, depending on the type, reasons, nuances of the effect on the body, the listing of which will take more than one page. But no matter how you list them, the bottom line remains – the treatment of almost all types of lowering the level is reduced to taking thyroid hormones or drugs that contain them.

However, whatever the type of disease, in most cases it becomes chronic.

Treatment of hypothyroidism is based primarily on replacement therapy.

There are also very rare forms of hypothyroidism, such as peripheral hypothyroidism. The reason for this is disturbances in the peripheral metabolism of thyroid hormones, the emergence of tissue resistance to their effects. It is a rare form of hypothyroidism, poorly understood, and almost untreatable.

Treatment for hypothyroidism depends on the degree of decompensation:

  • Subcompensated hypothyroidism is the middle state between compensation and decompensation. At the same time, the analyzes are partially within the normal range, but the body still does not have enough hormones that are produced and symptoms of hypothyroidism are already beginning to appear (in this state, TSH is increased, and T4 and T3 are normal); 
  • Decompensated hypothyroidism is a classic case of both symptoms and a lack of thyroid hormones. In this case, hormone therapy is required. The dose is selected depending on the degree of decompensation, that is, on how much the content of thyroid hormones is reduced and how much this affects the patient’s well-being. With decompensated hypothyroidism, it is already necessary to treat diseases that have developed due to a lack of hormones. In this case, anemia often develops, the work of the heart and liver suffers, cholesterol metabolism is disturbed. 

Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of hypothyroidism:

  • L-thyroxine ( Eutirox ) (T4 hormone preparation);
  • Triiodothyronine (T3 hormone preparation);
  • Thyroid , Thyrocomb (combined drugs with a combination of both hormones).

Treatment involves long-term, and possibly long-term, hormone intake. Moreover, hormone therapy with thyroid drugs can be continued throughout life. The duration of the course of treatment depends on the degree and form of the disease.

Taking drugs is started with small doses. This takes into account the age and degree of decompensation. The longer the patient does not receive hormonal therapy, the lower the initial doses should be and the more smoothly they need to be increased, otherwise the risk of developing complications from the heart is high.

Is it possible to treat hypothyroidism without hormones?

There is no single answer to this question. If the function of the thyroid gland is already severely impaired, then, most likely, hormone treatment cannot be dispensed with, since the disruption of the thyroid gland is slowly destroying the entire body. At the same time, their reception will lead to the normalization of the condition, weight, well-being.

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