Edmonds Medical Clinic Articles

What is Hypothyroidism?


Approximately 0.3-1% of the total US population has this disorder. And 2 to 4% of people over 65 years has this. It is more common in women. About 13 million people in U.S. were undiagnosed.

Cause of Hypothyroidism

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (most common cause). Congenital. Thyroid tissue destruction (by surgery or radioactive iodine treatment). Taking medication (e.g. lithium). Pituitary gland injury (e.g. postpartum complications such as Sheehan’s syndrome). Hypothalamic injury.

The thyroid gland is known as the body’s boiler. This is because the thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland maintains the body’s body temperature and plays a role in producing energy that strengthens the body.

For example, it can be understood as a situation where a boiler breaks down in winter and does not provide adequate warmth to the house. As a result, I always feel cold and tired, and I am less motivated in everything. There is no appetite to eat, but I am strangely overweight, and my body swells frequently. And even if you eat food, you cannot digest well and easily constipated. The skin becomes dry and the face is swollen, making it difficult to receive makeup, irregular menstruation, decreased libido, and may cause infertility. Hair loss is also common.


Hypothyroidism can cause heart disease, hyperlipidemia, hypotension, and low body temperature.


Through a physical examination, the thyroid gland should be examined for nodules or symmetry of shape. A blood test is done to check for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels.

Treatment of Hypothyroidism

It is important to take thyroid medication to compensate for the lack of thyroid hormones to normal levels. The thyroid hormone level should be checked frequently to confirm if the medication dose is adequate or not. And the thyroid function is normalized, and symptoms are improved.

Good lifestyle habits for people with hypothyroidism?

Since your basal metabolism decreases, you need to exercise moderately. Because constipation is common, you should eat vegetables frequently such as cabbage, celery, and fruit. If you do not like vegetables or can’t eat a lot of fruit due to diabetes, you can take dietary fiber, for example, OTC Benefiber at pharmacy, and it helps a lot for constipation. And avoid overwork and avoid stress.

Yoon Park, MD
Family Medicine
Edmonds Medical Clinic