Subclinical hypothyroidism is a clinical state in which the person has elevated levels of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) in their blood but doesn’t exhibit the symptoms associated with the condition. In most occasions, these individuals have normal levels of thyroid hormone in their blood.
Experts suggest that subclinical hypothyroidism is indicative of the fact that though the thyroid gland can produce enough thyroid hormone for the body, it is overworked and requires excessive stimulation from the pituitary gland (which is apparent due to elevated levels of TSH).
In most cases, the condition progresses towards development of obvious hypothyroidism. In most cases, patients with subclinical manifestation of hypothyroidism are treated by the endocrinologists, but in some cases, a repeat profile study may be performed to confirm the diagnosis after a couple of months.
Causes Of Subclinical Hypothyroidism
Estimates suggest that about 3 to 5% of the population suffers from hypothyroidism, with almost 50% suffering from subclinical hypothyroidism. The condition affects women more than men and usually has a higher prevalence among middle aged individuals. The causes associated with the different forms of hypothyroidism include the following,
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which is an inflammatory condition.
- Lymphocytic thyroiditis, which is often an outcome of hyperthyroidism.
- Damage caused to the thyroid gland due to surgery, radiation therapy or medication.
- Severe iodine deficiency attributes to almost 80% of all cases of hypothyroidism.
Subclinical Hypothyroidism Symptoms
The most important lab test which is indicative of subclinical hypothyroidism is the elevated levels of TSH with normal levels of T3 and T4. In principle subclinical hypothyroidism doesn’t manifest any symptoms associated with hypothyroidism, however with advancing age some of the symptoms may become apparent. Most of the symptoms are linked with reduced metabolic activity,
- Weakness, tiredness, fatigue and lower energy levels in general.
- Modest weight gain.
- Increased sensitivity to cold.
- Occasional constipation.
- Dryness of skin and dryness of hair is another common symptom.
- Elevated levels of cholesterol and occasional muscle cramps may also be observed.
- Ability to concentrate or focus on a particular activity is grossly reduced.
- Slight swelling in the ankles with aching and pain.
Natural Remedies For Subclinical Hypothyroidism
Since the symptoms associated with subclinical hypothyroidism are mild and can be alleviated easily. Here are some simple natural treatment options for the management of the condition,
- Ensure that your iodine intake is adequate. Use iodized salt and increase the intake of sea-foods like crabs, fish, prawns and seaweeds, as these are loaded with iodine.
- Regular exercise is an important factor to ensure that your metabolism remains optimum. Exercise for at least 45 minutes five times a week to maintain a good metabolic rate.
- Restrict unhealthy diet comprising of saturated oils, red meat, etc. Instead increase fresh green vegetables and fruits in your diet. Avoid dairy products especially milk and cream since they contain certain animal hormones that can influence or impact endocrinal functions with your body.
- Homeopathic drug Thyroidium or Iodinium can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with this condition. These drugs need to be taken over a period of six to eight months in order for it to be effective. These medications need to be avoided in pregnant and breast feeding females.
A regular medical checkup and follow-up is essential to ensure that the condition is kept under control. Regularly consult your doctor in order to avoid a full blown attack of hypothyroidism.