Hypothyroidism is known to be a common thyroid problem which takes place because of deficiency of thyroid hormone in the body. This condition can result to overwhelming effects in women particularly between 35 and 60 years old. The condition can be a result of some kind of disorder in the thyroid gland or the pituitary gland fails to release TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone which will stimulate the thyroid gland in releasing T4 or thyroxine and T3 or triiodothyronine hormones. Hypothyroidism is very common and can affect numerous people all over the world. But those who are affected with it are not usually aware of this health ailment. According to studies, the signs and symptoms of an underactive thyroid can be more severe in women compared to men. It also has different underlying reasons for its occurrence.
One of the most frequent causes of hypothyroidism is dysfunction of the thyroid gland following a thyroidectomy. This is the surgical removal of the thyroid gland due to thyroid cancer, hyperthyroidism, thyroid nodules which could be overactive or cancerous and also due to an enlarged thyroid gland or goiter. Radioactive iodine therapy is another reason for hypothyroidism. This therapy is used in the treatment of hyperthyroidism through the destruction of the thyroid gland. Thus, hypothyroidism basically occurs when the thyroid gland is removed or its tissues will not function well. In women, some of the probable causes of hypothyroidism include autoimmune diseases such as Hashimotos’s thyroiditis, iodine deficiency, bacterial and viral infections which damage the gland temporarily, radiation therapy, some medications which could interfere with the normal functioning of the thyroid hormone and many more. In addition, hypothyroidism is fairly common during pregnancy since the body will need an increased production of the thyroid hormone in coping up with the changes it is experiencing. Even if it is uncommon, disorders of the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus will also increase the possibility of hypothyroidism among women.
Usually, the symptoms of hypothyroidism appear over a significant period of time. This happens for several months and at times, even for many years. Furthermore, in the case of mild hypothyroidism, no symptoms would often emerge particularly during the initial stage. But in women, a few symptoms of underactive thyroid include: