6 Dangers of an Underactive Thyroid

  • Other Medications
    Your Thyroid Health Matters
    If you have hypothyroidism, you can control your condition with medication. Although you need to take that thyroid pill daily, it’s well worth it. Untreated, an underactive thyroid not only can make you feel lousy, it can also harm your health.

  • depression, sad, upset, depressed
    1. Depression
    Although experts don’t fully understand why, thyroid disorders and depression are linked. People who have an underactive thyroid are more likely to have depressive symptoms than those who don’t. If you have persistent sad or empty feelings that interfere with daily life, tell your doctor.

  • swallowing, pills, pills in hand with glass of water, medication,
    2. Trouble Swallowing
    People with untreated hypothyroidism are at greater risk for developing a goiter—an enlargement of the thyroid gland. If a goiter grows large enough, it can cause problems swallowing or breathing.

  • doctor listening to patient
    3. Infertility
    Untreated hypothyroidism can affect a woman’s fertility in many ways, resulting in ovulation issues and hormone imbalances. It can also lead to recurrent miscarriage. To avoid fertility issues, talk with your doctor before trying to get pregnant to make sure your thyroid is functioning properly.

  • lady holding newborn
    4. Pregnancy Complications
    Women with untreated or poorly controlled hypothyroidism who become pregnant are at greater risk for complications like preeclampsia, miscarriage, preterm delivery, and more.  Work closely with your doctor during pregnancy to ensure your medication is at the right level.

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    5. High Cholesterol
    Hypothyroidism is linked to higher cholesterol levels—a risk factor you can’t feel, but one that can increase your chance for heart attack. Know your cholesterol levels and ask your doctor about treatment if your cholesterol is high.

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    6. Myxedema
    Severe, untreated hypothyroidism can lead to myxedema coma, a condition in which the body’s functions slow to the point that it becomes life-threatening. Thankfully, myxedema is quite rare.

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    Aggravation of Other Conditions
    Because the thyroid hormone controls almost every tissue and organ in your body, not having enough of the hormone can make a huge impact. Not only does hypothyroidism cause symptoms like weight gain and constipation, it can also worsen existing health conditions. For optimal health, work closely with your doctor to develop a treatment plan.

6 Dangers of an Underactive Thyroid
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Last Review Date: 2019 Oct 7
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