Hypothyroidism signs and symptoms. Hypothyroidism means the characteristic clinical response to thyroid hormone deficiency in the adult. The most common form, is probably an autoimmune disease, Hashimottos thyroiditis and is often associated with a firm goiter or later, in the disease process with a shrunken fibrotic thyroid gland with little or no function.
Hyperthyroidism on the other hand is a clinical condition encompassing several specific diseases, characterized by hypermetabolism and elevated serum levels of free thyroid hormone. There is still some debate over the use of the terms hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis.
Signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism; The symptoms and signs of primary hypothyroidism are generally in striking contrast to those of hyperthyroidism and maybe quite subtle and insidious in onset. The facial expression is dull, the voice is hoarse and the speech is slow, facial puffiness and periorbital swelling these occur due to infiltration of certain compounds. Other signs include cold intolerance and the eye lids seem to droop because of decreased adrenergic drive. the hair is sparse coarse and dry as is the sin, the skin is also sometimes scaly and thick. Weight gain is generally modest and is a direct result of reduced metabolism of food and eventual fluid retention patients are generally found to be forgetful and in conjunction may also show other signs of mental and intellectual impairment. Some even tend to show signs of depression and in rarer cases fran psychosis may also be observed lie in myxedema madness.
There is often carotenemia, particularly notable on the palms and soles, caused by deposition of carotene in the lipid rich epidermal layers. Deposition of proteanecious ground susbstances on the tongue may produce macroglossia. Decrease in thyroid hormone along with adrenergic stimulation also causes bradycardia.
Other cardiovascular signs like dilated cardiomyopathy or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may also been seen. Pericardial and pleural effusion develop slowly these tend to be more chronic signs if the condition goes undiagnosed for a longer period of time and sufficient remedial measures are not put into place promptly. Paraesthesias of the hands and feet become more frequent. Anemia and hypothermia are also noted in people suffering from hypothyroidism. The anemia in the condition is generally normocyctic and normochromic, it maybe hypochromic in certain conditions owing to menorrhagia. In most cases the menorrhagia is rarely ever found to be severe i.e (Hb <9mg/dl). As the eventually hypometabolic state is corrected , so is the anemia, but recover may take upto 6 to 9 months.Women suffering from the disease often develop menorrhagia in contrast to the hypomenorrhea of hyperthyroidism. Secondary hypothyroidism occurs when there is failure of the hypothalamic pituitary axis because of deficient TRH secretion from the hypothalamus or lack of TSH secretion from the pituitary. Myxedema coma is a life threatening complication of hypothyroidism. Its characteristics include a background of long standing hypothyroidism, coma with extreme temperatures is witnessed (24 to 32 degrees celcius) areflexia, seizures CO2 recession and respiratory depression. Eventually leading to cardio pulmonary arrest and death until dealt with promptly.