Learn more aboutthe early symptoms of hypothyroid and how to control it in its early stages. Understand the mild and severe symptoms and seek medication to avoid health deterioration. Artificial thyroid hormone treatment is usually safe, quick, and more effective.

Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland fails to produce enough essential hormones. It does not show noticeable symptoms at its early stages but can lead to serious health problems when it is not treated on its onset. Health conditions associated with untreated hypothyroidism are infertility, obesity, heart conditions, and even joint pain. However, there is an accurate and functional thyroid test for diagnosing hypothyroidism.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

Signs and symptoms of this condition vary depending on various hormone deficiencies.  Usually, the problem develops slowly for some years and is accompanied by easily noticed symptoms likefatigue and an increase in weight. Sometimes the symptoms may be linked to old age. However, asthe body’s metabolism keeps slowing down, more obvious symptoms develop. Below are some of the common symptoms.

  • Fatigue.
  • Constipation.
  • An increase in cold sensitivity.
  • Puff face.
  • An increase in weight.
  • Dry skin.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • An increase in blood cholesterol level.
  • Stiffness, tenderness, and muscle pain
  • Joint swelling, stiffness, and pain
  • Irregular or even more heavy menstrual period
  • Slowed heartbeat rate
  • Thin hair
  • Depression
  •  Memory loss
  • Goiter (it is an enlarged thyroid gland)

Signs and Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in Infants

Even though this condition often affects medium-aged and older women, anybody can develop it, including infants. Most commonly, it affects kids born either without a thyroid gland or those with a nonfunctional gland. Infants also have signs showingthey are suffering from the condition. Such symptoms include:

  • Their skin turns yellow, and the whiteness of the eyes, in what is commonly referred to as jaundice. In most cases, this happens when the liver the baby fails to metabolize bilirubin. Bilirubin is usually formed when the body reuses damaged or old red blood cells.
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Protruding or large tongue
  • Umbilical hernia
  • Hoarse crying

As the disease develops to an unmanageable level, infants may have feeding trouble. They may also fail to grow in a normal way. Therefore, in its advanced stage, the infant may have the following symptoms.

  • Poor muscle toning.
  • Constipation.
  • Prolonged sleeping duration.

When hypothyroidism is not treated in advance, it may lead to serious problems such as mental and physical retardation.

Hypothyroidism in Teens and Children

Both children and teens with hypothyroidism experience the same signs and symptoms as adults. However, young adults have the following additional symptoms:

  • short stature as a result of poor growth.
  • Their permanent teeth delay developing.
  • They have delayedpuberty.
  • They may end up developinga poor mentality

When to See a Doctor

It is good to see a doctor whenever you experience the symptoms to avoid serious problems. Seek medication whenever you feel fatigued for no reason or any of the above symptoms. In case you are undergoing hypothyroidism hormone therapy, make sure you do a proper follow-up with your physician. If you are getting the correct medicine dosage and eventually the condition reoccurs,you may need to change the dose.

Complications Associated with Untreated Hypothyroidism

It is good to seek earlier treatment becauseuntreatedhypothyroidismcan lead toserious health problems. Below are some of the health complications that may arise due tountreated hypothyroidism.

  • Goiter. When the thyroid gland is stimulated constantly to produce more hormones, it grows larger and develops into what is known as goiter. Generally, this condition is uncomfortable and when it overgrows, it interferes with your appearance. It also makesswallowing and breathing difficult.
  • Heart Problems. Heart failure and diseases might be associated with hypothyroidism. This is primarily because the low density of bad cholesterol might occur in people with underactive thyroids. Bad cholesterol is also known as lipoprotein.
  • Mental Health Conditions. In the early stages of hypothyroidism, one can be easily depressed. Thisbecomes more severe as the condition develops and remains untreated. Furthermore, hypothyroidism may make mental functioning slow.
  • Peripheral Neuropathy. When hypothyroidism is not treated in advance, it can destroy your peripheral nerves. These are the nerves that transport information from the brain to the spinal cord and the entire body. Peripheral neuropathy condition may cause numbness, tingling, and pain in the affectedarea.
  • Myxedema. It is the rarest condition that threatens life and results from untreated hypothyroidism. Itssymptoms and signs include drowsiness, profound lethargy, cold intolerance, which is more intense, and unconsciousness. Myxedema coma might be worsened by stress, infection, or even sedatives. If you experience the signs of this condition, seek immediate medical treatment.
  • Infertility. When the level of thyroid hormone is low, it can affect ovulation hence impairs your fertility. Moreover, other causes of hypothyroidism, such as autoimmune, might affect your fertility.
  • Birth Defects. Women who give birth and their hypothyroidism is not treated, their babies are at higher risk of getting congenital disabilities. The risk is higher compared to babies whose mothers are healthy. Children born by women with untreated hypothyroidism are at a high risk of getting serious development and intellectual problems.

All infants who contract hypothyroidism are at high risk of having both mental and physical problems. However, they will have high chances of normal development when they are treated at an early stage within their early months of life.

The Bottom Line

Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland fails to produce enough essential hormones. The symptom and the signs of this condition vary depending on various hormone deficiencies. However, in its early stages, it is usually hard to identify and deal with the symptoms. The condition may cause serious health complications if it is not treated in its early stage.

Kids born to mothers with hypothyroidism are also at a higher risk of not growing normally and may experience mental and physical problems.On the other hand, adults with the condition may experience fatal consequences such as infertility and goiter development. Therefore, it is recommended to seek hypothyroidism hormone therapy to treat the condition before it worsens.

Elena Ognivtseva

Nutritionist, Cornell University, MS I believe that nutrition science is a wonderful helper both for the preventive improvement of health and adjunctive therapy in treatment. My goal is to help people improve their health and well-being without torturing themselves with unnecessary dietary restrictions. I am a supporter of a healthy lifestyle – I play sports, cycle, and swim in the lake all year round. With my work, I have been featured in Vice, Country Living, Harrods magazine, Daily Telegraph, Grazia, Women's Health, and other media outlets.