What Causes Hypothyroidism?

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid is not producing and releasing enough thyroid hormone into your bloodstream. When this happens it causes your normal body functions to slow down and cause my symptoms. When thyroid hormones are severely low, it can cause life-threatening symptoms that consist of low body temperature, anemia, confusion, heart failure, and coma! What causes hypothyroidism? The primary cause of hypothyroidism is directly linked to the thyroid and causes low production of the thyroid hormone. Secondary causes can be due to the pituitary gland breaking down, affecting the releasing of the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which is crucial to balance out the thyroid hormones in the body. Another common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto's disease. When someone is diagnosed with Hashimoto’s this attacks the immune system and damages the thyroid. And when this happens, not enough thyroid hormone is released into the bloodstream. What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism? Symptoms of this condition progress over time and may include things like…

  • Feeling tired

  • Experiencing numbness and tingling in your hands

  • Having constipation

  • Gaining weight

  • Experiencing soreness throughout the body (can include muscle weakness)

  • Having higher than normal blood cholesterol levels

  • Feeling depressed

  • Being unable to tolerate cold temperatures

  • Having dry, coarse skin and hair or hair loss

  • Experiencing a decrease sexual interest

  • Having frequent and heavy menstrual periods

  • Seeing physical changes in the face (including drooping eyelids, as well as puffiness in the eyes and face)

  • Having the voice become lower and hoarser

  • Feeling more forgetful (“brain fog”)


How is hypothyroidism diagnosed? It may be difficult to identify whether you may have hypothyroidism based on your symptoms. The best way to see if this is the root of your concerns is to check your thyroid hormone levels TSH, Free T3, Free T4 and thyroid antibodies. That is why I include these tests along with many others in my comprehensive lab panel for all of my patients. This truly allows me to put the puzzle pieces together and create a personalized wellness plan just for you. Too often, all of these tests are not covered by insurance so many patients go undiagnosed for years.

What does treatment look like? The recommended treatment following western medicine is hormone replacement therapy. This means you are basically supplementing the hormones your body is not making with medication. And overtime medication dosages increase as your body becomes immune to the treatment. The problem with this approach is the root cause is not being addressed. Everyone’s body is different, which means hypothyroidism should be treated based on the individual. In our online program at The Lifestyle Clinic, we are able to individualize treatment for all our members. When you enroll, the first thing we’ll do is get lab work done so we can really pinpoint what is going on. Once the results are in, we can get started on creating a personalized treatment plan specifically for you. Within weeks of following the treatment, you should start seeing your symptoms subside. Click here for more information on how to enroll today!