About Hypothyroidism.

Scheme of the thyroid gland.

Image via Wikipedia

Hypothyroidism,simple,  is manageable and not totally curable.

The dosage must be strictly adhered to and check up once a month is advisable.

There is no problem in getting married and getting pregnant.

Normalizing the TSH with a target TSH level of less than 2 mIU/mL is advisable to lower CRP levels and homocysteine levels, and possibly the cholesterol levels.
Test / Name Normal Range Interpretation
“TSH” Test — Thyroid Stimulating Hormone / Serum thyrotropin 0.4 to 6 

0.3 to 3.0 (as of 2003)


Under .4 can indicate possible hyperthyroidism. Over 6 is considered indicative of hypothyroidismNote: the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has revised these guidelines as of early 2003, narrowing the range to .3 to 3.0. Many labs and practitioners are not, however, aware of these revised guidelines. (See Endos Say Normal TSH Range Now .3 to 3: Millions More at Thyroid Risk)
Total T4 / Serum thyroxine 4.5 to 12.5 Less than 4.5 can be indicative of an underfunctioning thyroid when TSH is also elevated. Over 12.5 can indicate hyperthyroidism. Low T4 with low TSH can sometimes indicate a pituitary problem.
Free T4 / Free Thyroxine – FT4 0.7 to 2.0 Less than 0.7 is considered indicative of possible hypothyroidism.
T3 / Serum triiodothyronine 80 to 220 Less than 80 can indicate hypothyroidism. 



Hypothyroidism (pronounced /ˌhaɪpɵˈθaɪrɔɪdɪzəm/) is a deficiency of thyroid hormone in humans and other vertebrates. Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism worldwide but it can be caused by any number of other causes such as several conditions of the the thyroid gland, or less commonly, the pituitary gland or hypothalamus.[1] It can result from a lack of a thyroid gland. It can also be due to iodine-131 used to treat thyroid cancer, its surgical removalCretinism is a form of hypothyroidism found in infants.

Signs and symptoms





About three percent of the general population has hypothyroidism.[15]

Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism worldwide.[1] In iodine-replete individuals hypothyroidism is frequently caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or otherwise as a result of either an absent thyroid gland or a deficiency in stimulating hormones from thehypothalamus or pituitary.

Factors such as iodine deficiency or exposure to iodine-131 from nuclear fallout, which is absorbed by the thyroid gland like regular iodide and destroys its cells, can increase the risk.

Congenital hypothyroidism is very rare accounting for approximately 0.2‰ and can have several causes such as thyroid aplasia or defects in the hormone metabolism. Thyroid hormone insensitivity (most often T3 receptor defect) also falls into this category although in this condition the levels of thyroid hormones may be normal or even markedly elevated.

Hypothyroidism can result from postpartum thyroiditis, a condition that affects about 5% of all women within a year of giving birth.[citation needed] The first phase is typically hyperthyroidism; the thyroid then either returns to normal, or a woman develops hypothyroidism. Of those women who experience hypothyroidism associated with postpartum thyroiditis, one in five will develop permanent hypothyroidism requiring life-long treatment.

Hypothyroidism can also result from sporadic inheritance, sometimes autosomal recessive.[citation needed]

Hypothyroidism is also a relatively common disease in domestic dogs, with some specific breeds having a definite predisposition.[16]

Temporary hypothyroidism can be due to the Wolff-Chaikoff effect. A very high intake of iodine can be used to temporarily treat hyperthyroidism, especially in an emergency situation. Although iodide is a substrate for thyroid hormones, high levels reduce iodideorganification in the thyroid gland, decreasing hormone production. The antiarrhythmic agent amiodarone can cause hyper- or hypothyroidism due to its high iodine content.

Hypothyroidism can be caused by lithium-based mood stabilizers, usually used to treat bipolar disorder (previously known as manic depression).[1] In fact, lithium has occasionally been used to treat hyperthyroidism.[17] Other drugs that may produce hypothyroidism includeinterferon alphainterleukin-2, and thalidomide.[1]

Hypothyroidism is often classified by association with the indicated organ dysfunction (see below):[18][19]

Type Origin Description
Primary Thyroid gland The most common forms include Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune disease) and radioiodine therapy forhyperthyroidism.
Secondary Pituitary gland Occurs if the pituitary gland does not create enough thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to induce the thyroid gland to produce enough thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Although not every case of secondary hypothyroidism has a clear-cut cause, it is usually caused by damage to the pituitary gland, as by a tumor, radiation, or surgery.[20]
Tertiary Hypothalamus Results when the hypothalamus fails to produce sufficient thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). TRH prompts the pituitary gland to produce thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Hence may also be termed hypothalamic-pituitary-axis hypothyroidism. 

To diagnose primary hypothyroidism, many doctors simply measure the amount of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) being produced by the pituitary gland. High levels of TSH indicate that the thyroid is not producing sufficient levels of thyroid hormone (mainly as thyroxine (T4) and smaller amounts of triiodothyronine (T3)). However, measuring just TSH fails to diagnose secondary and tertiary hypothyroidism, thus leading to the following suggested blood testing if the TSH is normal and hypothyroidism is still suspected:

  • Free triiodothyronine (fT3)
  • Free levothyroxine (fT4)
  • Total T3
  • Total T4

Additionally, the following measurements may be needed:

  • 24-Hour urine-free T3[21]
  • Antithyroid antibodies — for evidence of autoimmune diseases that may be damaging the thyroid gland
  • Serum cholesterol — which may be elevated in hypothyroidism
  • Prolactin — as a widely available test of pituitary function
  • Testing for anemia, including ferritin
  • Basal body temperature,


Hypothyroidism is treated with the levorotatory forms of thyroxine (levothyroxine) (L-T4) and triiodothyronine (liothyronine) (L-T3). Both synthetic and animal-derived thyroid tablets are available and can be prescribed for patients in need of additional thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone is taken daily, and doctors can monitor blood levels to help assure proper dosing. Levothyroxine is best taken 30–60 minutes before breakfast, as some food can diminish absorption. Compared to water, coffee reduces absorption of levothyroxine by about 30 percent.[22]Some patients might appear to be resistant to levothyroxine, when in fact they do not properly absorb the tablets – a problem which is solved by pulverizing the medication.[23] There are several different treatment protocols in thyroid replacement therapy:

T4 only
This treatment involves supplementation of levothyroxine alone, in a synthetic form. It is currently the standard treatment in mainstream medicine.[24]
T4 and T3 in combination
This treatment protocol involves administering both synthetic L-T4 and L-T3 simultaneously in combination.[25]
Desiccated thyroid extract
Desiccated thyroid extract is an animal based thyroid extract, most commonly from a porcine source. It is also a combination therapy, containing natural forms of L-T4 and L-T3.[26

2 thoughts on “About Hypothyroidism.

  1. Pingback: Neuroendocrinology of the hair follicle - Dermatologists Sans Borders

  2. Pingback: Fringe - All About Hair: Neuroendocrinology of the hair follicle

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