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1- Introduction

2- Pathophysiology

3- Symptoms

4- Treatment


Hypothyroidism is a common endocrine disorder characterized by an underactive thyroid gland, which fails to produce enough thyroid hormones essential for regulating various bodily functions. These hormones play a crucial role in metabolism, growth, and energy expenditure throughout the body. Hypothyroidism can lead to a range of symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, sensitivity to cold, and dry skin, among others. It is typically diagnosed through blood tests measuring levels of thyroid hormones and managed with synthetic hormone replacement therapy to restore balance and alleviate symptoms.


Hypothyroidism stems from insufficient production of thyroid hormones—primarily thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3)—by the thyroid gland. These hormones regulate metabolism, affecting nearly every organ system in the body. When thyroid hormone levels drop, metabolic processes slow down, impacting energy production and utilization. This slowdown can manifest in various physiological changes such as fatigue, weight gain despite no change in diet or exercise, and intolerance to cold temperatures due to reduced heat production. Additionally, decreased thyroid hormone levels can lead to changes in the skin and hair, making them dry and brittle. Moreover, hypothyroidism affects the cardiovascular system, potentially causing bradycardia (slow heart rate) and elevated cholesterol levels, which increase the risk of heart disease. The condition also influences the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in constipation. In women, it may disrupt menstrual cycles and fertility.

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  • Fatigue and Weakness: Feeling unusually tired despite getting enough sleep.
  • Weight Gain: Difficulty in losing weight, even with regular exercise and a healthy diet.
  • Cold Sensitivity: Feeling cold when others are comfortable in the same environment.
  • Dry Skin and Hair: Skin may become dry and flaky, and hair may become brittle and thin.
  • Constipation: Slower digestion and less frequent bowel movements.
  • Muscle Weakness: Weakness, aches, and pains in the muscles.
  • Joint Pain: Aching and stiffness in the joints.
  • Depression: Feeling down or depressed, often accompanied by difficulty concentrating or remembering things.
  • Menstrual Irregularities: Irregular or heavy menstrual periods in women.
  • Hoarseness: Changes in voice, often becoming hoarse.
  • Puffy Face: Facial swelling, especially around the eyes.
  • Elevated Cholesterol Levels: High levels of cholesterol in the blood.
  • Bradycardia: Slow heart rate.
  • Decreased Sweating: Reduced ability to sweat, leading to heat intolerance.
  • Memory Problems: Difficulty in thinking clearly or remembering things.


  • Levothyroxine Replacement: The mainstay of treatment for hypothyroidism is levothyroxine, a synthetic form of the thyroid hormone T4.

  • Administration: Levothyroxine is taken orally once daily, ideally on an empty stomach in the morning, to maximize absorption.

  • Dosage Adjustment: Initial dosage is based on thyroid hormone levels and adjusted gradually through regular monitoring of symptoms and blood tests.

  • Effectiveness: Levothyroxine effectively restores thyroid hormone levels to normal, alleviating symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and cold sensitivity.

  • Monitoring: Regular follow-up visits with healthcare providers are crucial to monitor thyroid hormone levels and adjust medication dosage as needed.

  • Lifestyle Factors: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with balanced nutrition, regular exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep supports overall thyroid health and treatment effectiveness.

  • Other Treatment Options: In cases of severe or persistent symptoms, alternative treatments or additional therapies may be considered, based on individual response and healthcare provider recommendations.

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