The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland found in the base of the neck that forms part of the endocrine system. It produces and releases the two thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Symptoms of hypothyroidism come about when the thyroid gland slows down or completely ceases to produce thyroid hormones. There are several reasons why hypothyroidism may occur and below are some of the factors that can cause it to happen.
Blood test can determine if an under active thyroid is a result of an autoimmune disease, where the body may mistake the thyroid cells for invading cells and cause the immune system to attack them. As a result the body fails to produce enough thyroid hormones and side effects occur. Such effects of hypothyroidism may include tiredness, weight gain, constipation, poor circulation, dry skin and depression.
Hypothyroidism can also be congenital where the person is born with the disease. This tends to be where the person in question is born either without a thyroid gland or with only a partial thyroid gland.
Another reason why hypothyroidism may occur is if all or part of the thyroid has been surgically removed following treatment for cancer of even an over active thyroid. In this case the thyroid slows down and goes from one extreme to the other.
Other reasons why hypothyroidism may occur is if the body has an imbalance in iodine levels causing the thyroid levels to fluctuate or if the person is taking certain medications which impact on the bodyÂ’s thyroid level production. In addition, a malfunctioning pituitary gland can also hinder the function of the thyroid gland causing hypothyroidism to occur.