Dyspnea

Equip yourself. Learn about dyspnea.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in a patient that leads to a low level of thyroid hormone production. It is also referred to as an underactive thyroid, or low thyroid function.

Symptoms

One of the medical symptoms that can occur in a case of hypothyroidism is dyspnea. Aside from shortness of breath, many other signs and symptoms can show up. For instance, the patient may experience an increased sensitivity to the cold. Joint pain, known as arthralgia, can occur. A low heart rate, a condition known as bradycardia, may also be present. High levels of cholesterol in the blood may also be noticed. These are some of the potential early symptoms, but there are also late symptoms, including goiter, decreased basal body temperature, unusual menstrual cycles, and more. There are also more uncommon symptoms, like difficulty swallowing, hair loss, and worsened memory. Dyspnea is one of the less frequently seen symptoms.

Causes

Across the world, iodine deficiency is the most common reason for hypothyroidism. However, in people that have sufficient levels of iodine, Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the most common medical reason. Other issues can also lead to it, including de Quervain's thyroiditis.


Diagnosis

A medical professional is the one to make a diagnosis of hypothyroidism. The test that is validated in diagnosing cases of primary hypothyroidism is measuring TSH and T4. Despite this, the levels of those two hormones can be altered by medical issues that are unrelated to the thyroid gland. Therefore, if their levels come back normal but low thyroid function is still suspected, additional testing may be done.

Treatment

Different methods are used to treat patients with hypothyroidism. Some go on a regimen that uses only T4 replacement. Others receive both T3 and T4. Some get desiccated thyroid extract, which also contains both kinds. In certain cases, getting additional amounts of some vitamins and/or minerals in the diet may also be useful. Please do not use information here to attempt to select at treatment, but rather get advice from someone who is qualified in this area.