Underactive Thyroid-Causes and Treatments

What is underactive thyroid?

Hypothyroidism is the condition in which the thyroid gland does not create enough thyroid hormones to address the requirements of the body. That’s why the name – underactive thyroid. The inverse is hyperthyroidism, where the thyroid delivers excessively thyroid hormone.

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ which is located in the front of the neck underneath the larynx or voice box. Thyroid hormones control metabolism rate, heart rate, mood and other important body functions. These thyroid hormones mainly include the T3 and T4 (thyroxine) hormones. In the event that thyroxine levels are low, the body feels excessive energy loss and other symptoms. It is the endocrine gland which produces these hormones.

Hormones are synthetic dispatchers that hand-off data to other important organs and tissues of the body and as a result, they control vital processes like metabolism, heart rate, mood, energy levels, etc. The generation of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) are managed by thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), produced by the pituitary organ. This pituitary gland is further managed by the hypothalamus, a part of the brain. TSH guarantees that sufficient amount of T3 and T4 are produced to meet the requirements of the body.

Underactive Thyroid

What are the Causes of hypothyroidism?

The condition of hypothyroidism can happen if the thyroid organ is not producing sufficient hormones, or if the thyroid gland isn’t fortified appropriately by the hypothalamus or pituitary organ.

Based on these, we can analyze the causes of underactive thyroid in the following names:

  • Thyroiditis:

    Thyroiditis is an aggravation of the thyroid organ. The disease forces the thyroid hormones to fuse into the blood, raising their general levels and resulting in hyperthyroidism. Following 1 to 2 months, this may form into hypothyroidism. This condition can be caused by infections, viral or bacterial, or pregnancy. An autoimmune condition also prompts thyroiditis.

  • Hashimoto’s disease:

    it is the most common cause of an underactive thyroid. The disease is also known as autoimmune thyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune disease which means that in this order, the immune system attacks on body’s own tissues and organs. The condition makes the immune system to assault the thyroid, prompting irritation and meddling with its capacity to generate thyroid hormones.

  • Thyroid heredity:

    In instances of inherent hypothyroidism, the thyroid organ does not work sufficiently from birth. Thyroid heredity is a reason behind it, which means that you are getting thyroid complications from your parents. This can prompt physical and mental development issues, however, early treatment can fight these issues and ensure patient’s safety. If you are having thyroid complications from birth, then it is highly recommended that when you become a parent, you must check your infant for the same.

  • Thyroid issues with medication:

    many medicines can alter the natural thyroid hormone production as a side effect. These can either increase or decrease the production of T3 and T4 hormones. As a result, the patient may suffer from an underactive thyroid. Interleukin-2, amiodarone, lithium, interferon alpha, and tyrosine kinase inhibitors are some of the examples of such medicines.

  • Pituitary gland:

    In the event that the pituitary gland quits working legitimately, the thyroid gland may not create the right measure of thyroid hormone. This is because of the fact that the pituitary gland controls the production of T4 and T3 via TSH. Pituitary tumors or pituitary surgery can influence the capacity of the pituitary gland which can further affect the functioning of the thyroid gland resulting in an underactive thyroid condition. Another condition is Sheehan’s disorder, which causes damage to the pituitary gland. Excessive blood loss or severely low blood pressure can also damage the gland resulting in decreased production of the pituitary hormones.

  • Thyroid surgery and treatment as reasons for hypothyroidism:

    As a matter of fact, thyroid treatment or surgery can also prompt hypothyroidism. After the surgery (removal of infected part of the thyroid gland), it is possible that you may get the condition of an underactive thyroid as a side-effect of the surgery. Thyroid complications like hyperthyroidism, goiters, thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer are sometimes treated by partially or completely removing the thyroid gland. This may lead you to suffer from hypothyroidism. On the other hand, other thyroid treatments like radiation treatment can likewise prompt hypothyroidism. Specialist generally use radioactive iodine for the treatment of hyperthyroidism which works by eliminating the thyroid cells and as a result the production of T4 decreases. Radiation treatments, further utilized to treat other cancers like throat cancer, lung cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, and different lymphomas.

  • Iodine:

    Iodine is necessarily, required for the generation of the thyroid hormones but in a balanced proportional. Excessively or too little iodine can prompt underactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism.

  • Natural medicines:

    apart from all of these factors, some natural remedies can also result in an underactive thyroid.


Underactive Thyroid

How is the underactive thyroid, treated?

As there is a deficiency of the thyroid hormone, the underactive thyroid treatment centers on supplementing the thyroid hormone. The levels of T3 and T4, increased by either taking thyroid hormone pills or by increasing the efficiency of the gland if possible.

  • Taking thyroxine (T4):

    To increase the levels of T4, specialists normally recommend artificial thyroxine, a drug that is indistinguishable to the T4 hormone. Doctors recommend the dosage, by the patient’s data like age, history, side effects, and TSH level. Specialists will routinely screen the patient’s blood to decide whether the dose of T4 needs an adjustment.

  • Increasing the efficiency:

    the working of the gland can be improved by healthy nutrition and certain exercise. Iodine is a basic mineral for thyroid capacity. Deficiency of iodine causes unnecessary goiter development or anomalous extension of the thyroid gland. Keeping up satisfactory iodine admission is vital for everyone, however, those with autoimmune thyroid infection are more sensitive to iodine, implying that it can trigger or intensify hypothyroidism. Individuals with underactive thyroid ought to talk about dietary changes with their specialist.

These were the two main points for an underactive thyroid treatment, in addition to these; you must always consult a doctor before taking any of these steps.


Underactive thyroid is the condition when your body encounters a scarcity of the thyroid hormone (mainly T4 and T3). The symptoms of the problem are many including appetite change, mood change, fatigue, hair loss, faster heart rate, etc. The cause of the condition can be hereditary, medication, exposure to radiation, etc. the condition can also occur because of improper functioning of the pituitary gland. However, Treatment of an underactive thyroid is easy with the help artificial thyroxine, nutrition, and proper exercising.

Taking thyroxine pills can elevate the levels of thyroxine hormone (T4). Also, there are many exercises including yoga postures which can greatly influence the thyroid gland functioning. These exercises can either elevate the thyroid levels to treat an underactive thyroid or can reduce the levels to help an overactive thyroid condition. Ignoring these thyroid issues for a certain period of time can cause life-threatening problems like thyroid cancer. Doctors highly recommend, that you take proper medication for thyroid treatment.


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