December 8, 2022

Diagnosed with Under-Active Thyroid (Hypothyroidism)? British Doctor Dr Hart-Pinto tells you all you need to know about your Under-active thyroid.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid this video is for you my name is dr hart pinto i’m a doctor in the uk and i would like to talk to you about underactive thyroid or as doctors call it hyperthyroidism we will look at what is an underactive thyroid and what causes it are there any risk factors for getting an underactive thyroid

What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism and how is it diagnosed how will your underactive thyroid be treated and what are the problems if my underactive thyroid isn’t treated so what is an underactive thyroid and what causes it your thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland that lives in the neck just in front of your windpipe the main function is to help

Regulate your body’s metabolism it does this by releasing two hormones try eodothione t3 and thyroxine t4 in some people the levels of these hormones are too low this is something that can happen at any age babies are even tested at five days old and this forms part of the blood spot tests that community midwives perform babies who are found to have low thyroid

Levels from birth are given the name congenital hypothyroidism an underactive thyroid can be caused by chronic autoimmune thyroiditis this is a condition where the body’s own immune system which normally combats infection attacks the thyroid gland this damages the thyroid and as a result it cannot produce enough of the thyroid hormones the most common form of this

Is known as hashimoto’s thyroiditis this can sometimes run in families and may be linked to other autoimmune conditions it can also occur post-treatment for hyperthyroidism where people have received radioactive iodine treatment or even after surgical removal a poor dietary intake of iodine can be a rare cause of underactive thyroid in order for the thyroid to

Make effective levels of thyroxine it requires iodine a special gland in your brain also plays an important role in helping regulate your thyroid function this is called a pituitary gland it secretes a hormone called tsh thyroid stimulating hormone in patients with tumors of this gland levels of tsh can fall leading to a reduction in the amount of thyroxine the

Thyroid makes this cause of hypothyroidism is very rare certain medications can also have a negative effect on thyroid function including amiodarone which is a medication used to treat heart arrhythmias lithium a mood stabilizer interferons which are medication used to treat viral inflammation of the liver and some types of cancers are there any risk factors

For getting an underactive thyroid underactive thyroid is relatively common it is more commonly found in women and those over the age of 60 years as mentioned before this condition can sometimes run in families and may also be present in individuals with other autoimmune conditions such as type 1 diabetes so what are the symptoms you might experience if you’re

Hypothyroid everyone’s symptoms are different but many people will complain of feeling tired all the time experiencing persisting low mood or poor memory and inability to tolerate the cold they may notice that they have cold hands some people may complain also of pain numbness or pins and needles in the hands and the fingers this may indicate the development of a

Condition called carpal tunnel syndrome you may notice that your skin becomes dry your hair becomes brittle and also your nails you may find that you’ve gained weight have a poor sex drive or develop constipation other patients may complain of muscle aching cramping or weakness you may also notice that your voice changes and may become hoarse and some women may also

Notice a change in their periods becoming irregular or heavier so how is it diagnosed if your doctor suspects that you have an underactive thyroid they will organize for a blood test to look at the levels of thyroxine produced by the thyroid plus the levels of tsh that’s the thyroid stimulating hormone released from the special gland in your brain a diagnosis

Of hypothyroidism is confirmed by low levels of thyroxine and increased levels of the stimulating hormone tsh this is because your thyroid fails to produce enough thyroxine the thyroid hormone and the special pituitary gland in your brain tries to stimulate the thyroid to produce more much like the driver of a car running out of petrol he presses harder on the

Accelerator but if there’s no petrol the car’s not going to go any faster equally the thyroid gland if it’s not working effectively is not going to respond to the stimulating hormones tsh in some patients thyroxine levels may be normal but the tsh is still raised this can indicate that there is a developing underactive thyroid if an autoimmune cause is suspected

For your underactive thyroid your doctor may look for the presence of a thyroid antibody where present this indicates that the immune system has attacked the thyroid so how will your underactive thyroid be treated if your doctor diagnoses an underactive thyroid they will prescribe you a synthetic thyroxine hormone this is called levothyroxine if you wish to learn

More about liver thyroxine why not watch dr jumbocus’s video here she explains whether this medication is suitable for you how you should take this medication and the common side effects your doctor will also regularly monitor your thyroid function after starting your medication this is in the form of a blood test from this your doctor can adjust the dose of your

Levothyroxine to a level that works for you getting your dosing right can sometimes be tricky and sometimes requires a number of adjustments to your dosing it can also take several weeks before you start feeling the benefit from the medication don’t forget everybody is different if you’re trying to get pregnant or think you might be pregnant make sure you talk to

Your regular doctor as you may need closer monitoring and dose adjustments if you have an underactive thyroid and are requiring liver thyroxine it’s likely you will need to take this medication lifelong so what happens if my underactive thyroid isn’t treated if your underactive thyroid is not being treated it places you at risk of developing an increased risk of

Heart disease this is because patients with low thyroxine levels can develop high levels of bad cholesterol ldl which places you at increased risk for heart attacks and strokes some patients may also complain of a swelling in the neck overstimulation of the underactive thyroid by the tsh hormone produced by the pituitary gland in your brain causes the thyroid to

Gradually increase in size if it becomes large enough it may be visible and can cause pressure on your wind and food pipes in the neck causing difficulty in breathing and swallowing the nerves which supply your limbs may be damaged resulting in weakness numbness and pins and needles low thyroxine levels as mentioned above can affect your mood and your cognition

And this can have a knock-on effect of causing depression or early dementia you may find that your fertility is also affected making it more difficult to become pregnant amongst expecting mothers with an underactive thyroid there is also an increase in babies with birth defects in the worst case scenario you’re at risk of developing a condition called myxodemocoma

Which can ultimately lead to death thank you for watching this video we hope you found this information useful if you have enjoyed it why not subscribe click the bell and write down below of course this video does not contain tailored medical advice and is intended for informational purposes only please do not consider this as a substitute for professional medical

Advice diagnosis or treatment don’t ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you’ve heard here if you believe you may have a medical emergency immediately call your doctor or ambulance service thank you for watching and see you next time

Transcribed from video
Hypothyroidism | Under-Active Thyroid | What All Patients Need to Know By JHP Medical UK