All You Need to Know About Underactive Thyroid

All You Need to Know About Underactive Thyroid

The thyroid releases hormones that help the body regulate and use energy. It controls functions like how the heart beats and how the digestive system functions.

An underactive thyroid impacts people who fall over the age of 60 but is more common in women than men. It may be discovered through a Thyroid Function Test or after symptoms begin.

An early, mild form of the condition is called Subclinical hypothyroidism.

The majority of the treatments for Underactive Thyroid rely on supplementing one’s low hormone levels with artificial hormones. The hormones will replace what the body isn’t producing on its own and help return body functions to normal.

Warning signs of hypothyroidism depend on the severity of the condition. 

A lot of babies born without a thyroid gland or underactive thyroid don’t exhibit symptoms right away. 

Some symptoms of underactive thyroid in kids could include problems eating, poor or stunted growth, no weight gain, an exhibition of symptoms of a condition called jaundice, constipation, poor muscle tone and dry skin, hoarse crying, long tongue and umbilical hernia.

Adults on the other hand tend to develop this problem slowly, often over several years.

At first, the symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue and weight gain would barely be noticeable. Symptoms may also include Fatigue, sensitivity to cold, constipation, weakness in the muscle, dryness of the skin, puffy face and weight gain,  heavy or irregular menstrual cycles, thinning of the hair, depression, memory problems, slowed heart rate and tenderness, stiffness and aches in the muscle.

Some conditions that can lead to Underactive Thyroid include:

Autoimmune disease

This occurs when the immune system makes antibodies that attack healthy tissues. An auto-immune disease is one of the most common causes of Underactive Thyroid.  The autoimmune disease responsible is called Hashimoto’s disease. 

Undergoing a Thyroid surgery

When you undergo surgery to remove all or any part of your thyroid gland, you could lower your gland’s ability to make thyroid hormones or stop altogether.

Radiation therapy

When used to treat cancers of the head and neck can affect the thyroid gland and result in an Underactive Thyroid.


This occurs when the thyroid gland becomes inflamed. It can be caused by an infection or an autoimmune disorder or another medical condition affecting the thyroid. It can trigger the thyroid to release all of its stored thyroid hormones at once. This will then causes a spike in thyroid activity, a condition called hyperthyroidism. Later, the thyroid becomes underactive.


The usage of some medications may lead to Underactive Thyroid. An example of such medicine is lithium. Lithium is used to treat some psychiatric disorders. When prescribed a  medicine, ensure you ask your healthcare provider about the effects it may have on the thyroid gland.

Carry out a General Health Profile here

Anyone can have an Underactive Thyroid. However, some individuals are more at risk than others. Individuals who have a higher tendency of developing an Underactive Thyroid include:

  •  Women
  • Anyone who has a history of thyroid disease in their family 
  • Individuals who are treating an autoimmune disease like type 1 diabetes or celiac disease.
  • Any individual who had received treatment for hyperthyroidism.
  • Any individual who has received radiation to their neck or upper chest and had thyroid surgery.

When not treated, an Underactive Thyroid can:

  1. Make the thyroid gland larger.
  2.  This can result in a higher risk of heart disease and heart failure.
  3. Bring about damage to the peripheral nerves.
  4. Tend to interfere with ovulation and limit fertility in women.
  5. Lead to serious physical and mental developmental problems in babies
  6. Lead to trouble breathing.
  7. Would make the body struggle to maintain a normal body temperature.
  8. A serious medical condition called myxedema coma