Hypothyroidism is a deficiency of thyroid hormone. It can either be primary or secondary process. A condition whereby the thyroid glands produces insufficient or low amount of thyroid hormone is termed as primary process while the total lack of secretion of this hormone is known as secondary hypothyroidism (Bharaktiya, Orlander, Woodhouse  Bhalla, 2009 ). The latter condition is characterized by lack of thyrotropin (i.e. thyroid-stimulating hormone TSH) from the pituitary gland or thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) from the hypothalamus (Bharaktiya et al., 2009). Those who suffer from this condition vary from asymptomatic to rarely, coma with multisystem organ failure (myxedema coma).

The most common condition in the USA is caused by autoimmune or Hashimotos thyroiditis, in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. According to National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service (May 2008) publication, autoimmune is a disorder whereby the bodys immune system reacts against its own cells and tissues instead of protecting the body against any foreign body which is the primary function of the immune system.

The Physiological Effects of Hypothyroidism                
Heart disease
Studies have shown that hypothyroidism causes heart disease and related complications. In his book, Solved The Riddle of Heart Attacks, published in1976, Dr. Broda Barnes strongly suggested that heart disease was caused hypothyroidism (cited in Alternative Medicine Angel n.d.). Although his was done decades ago, recent studies done in the 1990s have shown that there is a relationship between thyroid activities and fat metabolism. Blood-fat levels will increase with an underactive thyroid and decrease with an overactive thyroid (Alternative Medicine Angel, n.d.). When the thyroid hormone (TH) level falls, the liver will not function normally and therefore excess cholesterol would be produced together with excess fatty acids and triglycerides which will enhance the chances of heart disease (Philips, May 2001).

Poor circulation
As the heart disease gets stronger, it decreases the blood circulation to the various body parts and organs including the heart. Lack of proper blood circulation in turn will result into flaky, dry or cracked skin and ever cold hands and feet. This is due to shortfall in circulation of blood which interferes with the bodys ability to warm the extreme parts. The delivery of various fatty acids and nutrients will also be interfered with by the poor blood circulation which will explain the dryness of the skin. This problem would normally be rectified by the normalcy of the thyroid.

Depression and Fatigue
The mental arena is highly affected by the thyroid hormone imbalance (hypothyroidism). Due to this, the hypothyroid people sleep easily but never enjoy the sleep. Therefore when awake, they experience fatigue, memory lapses and loneliness. These experiences may result into severe stress and depression that alters even normal daily functions. As cited by Philips (May 2001), some anti-depressants worsen the conditions of the hypothyroid patients because the medications depress T3 levels. In her book, Prozac Panacea or Pandora, Dr. Ann Tracy discovered that those who are taking the anti-depressant Prozac have been found to be initiating most of the shootings witnessed in the USA (Alternative Medicine Angel, n.d.).

Weight Loss
In cases of hypothyroidism, the normal blood circulation is depressed, may as a result lead to poor metabolic rate and subsequently weight loss. The thyroid hormone imbalance has effect on the cardiovascular fitness because it helps to control the heart rate and blood pressure (Philips, 2001). Therefore, imbalances in the heart rate and blood pressure would impair respiration and supply of oxygen making the body not to respond to exercise and muscles would never strengthen.

It is important to know the effects of low thyroid in the body. This would help one make informed and prompt choice on when to seek diagnosis, because as Dr. Nelson (2005), puts it, the thyroid always acts as the bodys gas pedal. An overactive thyroid makes the body to react too fast while an underactive one makes the body systems too cold and to run slow.


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