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Hypothyroidism   甲狀腺功能低下

by: Joe Hing Kwok Chu          按 此看中药治療法

It is the condition of insufficient thyroid hormone.


The problems can be originated from the thyroid glands or from the pituitary gland or even from the hypothalamus.

1. chronic inflammation

The most common cause of this is autoimmune dysfunction where the auto-immune system attacks the thyroid gland. It is called autoimmune thyroiditis or Hashimoto's disease (橋本病), (also called chronic lymphocyctic thyroiditis).

2. results of medical procedure: surgically removing part or all of the thyroid glands or using radioactive iodine to kill the thyroid cells in preventing the glands from growing larger, usually in hyperthyroid therapy or in cancer therapy.

3. weak signal from the pituitary caused by low thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).


Clinical symptoms

  1. Fatigue and weakness

  2. Slight weight gain

  3. Coarse, dry hair and skin (myxedem)

  4. Hair loss

  5. Intolerance of cold temperature

  6. Constipation

  7. Mood depressed, memory loss,  and irritability

  8. Muscle cramps and ache

  9. Abnormal menstrual cycles

  10. Decreased libido

  11. Slow heart rate

Laboratory test

Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH)

  1. Normal TSH values exclude the primary hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

  2. Elevated values indicate primary hypothyroidism.

  3. Low values indicate hyperthyroidism.

  4. A small percentage of the population, especially the elderly patients, may have low TSH values.


Interfering Factors and Clinical Implications

Elevated Levels:

  1. Primary hypothyroidism

  2. TSH producing pituitary tumors (rare)

  3. Pituitary and peripheral tissue resistance to thyroid hormone (rare)

Low levels:

  1. Hyperthyroidism

  2. thyroid hormone therapy

  3. Euthyroid sick state (low plasma T3 despite a normally functioning thyroid despite normal thyroid function)

  4. Severe psychiatric disease (especially manic depression)

  5. Corticosteroid therapy

  6. Dopamine infusion


Drug Therapy

thyroid hormone T4 supplement.

click here for Chinese Herb Therapy 按此看中药治療法

Qigong therapy has been used with good result for autoimmune thyroiditis or Hashimoto's disease.

Eating raw food high in goitrogens can contribute to hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

Also see hyperthyroidism.


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Last update: Mar 3, 2015; 10 p.m. LAH