Primary hypothyroidism: symptoms, causes and diagnosis


Primary hypothyroidism: symptoms, causes, and diagnosis

What is primary hyporitoidism and why does it appear? We also reveal what symptoms it produces and what medical tests are commonly used for its diagnosis.

Among the different types of hypothyroidism that can occur when there are thyroid problems, primary hypothyroidism is a disease caused by an alteration in the functioning of the thyroid gland and that can affect all bodily functions. Due to this alteration, the thyroid does not secrete the necessary hormones that influence the metabolism so the metabolism is altered and becomes slower.

Unlike secondary hypothyroidism, which occurs when it comes from a malfunctioning hypothalamus or pituitary, in the case of primary hypothyroidism is a condition caused by a problem of the thyroid gland itself.


The thyroid is the gland responsible for secreting thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine T3 and thyroxine T4 which influence the proper functioning of the metabolism. This gland is located in the neck more specifically below the larynx.

Primary hypothyroidism is a condition that is considered to be very common and which usually affects the female population, women who are already going through menopause or who are already in that stage, and also those who are elderly.

There are even times when after pregnancy some women can develop hypothyroidism, affecting a percentage of women between 5 and 20%, this hypothyroidism is known as postpartum thyroiditis.

The main causes of primary hypothyroidism

Among the causes that could cause primary hypothyroidism, the congenital factor stands out, although it can also develop during the course of life.

Other causes that could cause its appearance are:

Iodine deficiency
Have received treatment with radioactive iodine.
Radiation therapy sessions or radiation.
The intake of some medications.
Having an autoimmune disease
Rheumatoid arthritis.
After having undergone some thyroid operation.
The intake of some drugs such as iodine, interferon, lithium.
Know what are the symptoms associated with this condition
The symptoms associated with primary hypothyroidism are those described below, as you can see with a medical examination or physical examination it is easy to suspect that we might be suffering from this disease.

For that reason, we advise that if you have any of these symptoms do not hesitate to go to your doctor to make a good review.

And what are those symptoms? 

The metabolism becomes slower.
Weight gain.
Physical and mental fatigue.
Bradycardia (the heart rate slows down, slows down).
Low blood pressure.
Low body temperature
Loss of appetite
Joint pains
Muscle cramps.
Swelling of arms and legs.
Lack of reflexes while the test is performed to check reflections.
Hair loss

Medical tests to detect primary hypothyroidism
As we have said before with any suspicion go to your doctor and tell him the symptoms that you are suffering.

Among the possible tests that could be done to detect primary hypothyroidism are laboratory tests in which an analysis is performed to measure the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone TSH in the blood and of free thyroxine T4-L.

The treatment that is usually applied to treat primary hypothyroidism are medications indicated to replace thyroid hormone deficiency. Once the treatment is started, it is usually lifelong and may relapse if the treatment is interrupted.

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