eWellness: All about Hypothyroidism


Dr KK Aggarwal    18 March 2018

  1. An underactive thyroid gland or hypothyroidism is a new epidemic of the society.
  2. Hypothyroidism causes weight gain, loss of energy, cold intolerance and menstrual irregularities in women.
  3. All people who are 50+ should have their thyroid profile done as screening test for thyroid deficiency.
  4. Tests to detect hypothyroidism are TSH and T4. TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) is the most important and sensitive test for hypothyroidism. An abnormally high TSH means hypothyroidism.
  5. In younger people, thyroid deficiency should be investigated for in the presence of infertility, menstrual irregularity, pregnancy, weight gain.
  6. Thyroid deficiency is treated by thyroxine or synthetic T4 hormone replacement.
  7. Patients who develop hyperthyroid symptoms at any time during thyroxine supplementation should have their TSH tested. If TSH is low, then T4 dose needs to be reduced.
  8. Even mild thyroid deficiency during pregnancy can affect the growth or fetus. Therefore, thyroid supplementation dose is much higher in pregnancy than in non-pregnancy.
  9. In the elderly, thyroid supplementation is always started in low dose than in adults.
  10. If left untreated, thyroid deficiency can result in osteoporosis and atrial fibrillation. Osteoporosis may lead to recurrent fractures and atrial fibrillation with stroke.
  11. Iodized salt is used to prevent thyroid deficiency.
  12. Non-iodized salt is only used in two conditions, firstly in patient with thyroid inflammation and secondly while doing Jalneti in naturopathy and yoga related nasal wash technique.

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