Hypothyroidism: Thyroid-stimulating Hormone

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Hypothyroidism Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid does not produce enough of the hormones that are required to maintain metabolism (Harvard School of Medicine, 2007). Introduction Hypothyroidism is not a disease itself, but is a condition that a disease state causes (Buckley & Schub, 2008). Many of the causes of hypothyroidism are related to autoimmune conditions, where the body attacks itself, rendering the thyroid useless (Raisbeck, 2009). In fact, this is the most common cause of hypothyroidism (Raisbeck, 2009). Second to autoimmune disease is overcorrection of hyperthyroidism by surgery or radiation treatment (Walker, 2009). Thyroidectomy is the third most-prevalent cause, usually for the treatment of cancer…show more content…
Alas, by the time the correct diagnosis is made, the patient has succumbed to the condition (Greco, 2001). The cardiac system is at the mercy of thyroid hormone (Klein & Ojamaa, 2001). Thyroid hormone acts on cardiac muscle and vascular smooth-muscle cells, causing increased heart rate and blood pressure when there is an excess of thyroid hormone (Klein & Ojamaa, 2001). The opposite is also true (Klein & Ojamaa, 2001). Care must be taken when using amiodarone, a common anti-dysrhythmic medication, with hypothyroid patients (Klein & Ojamaa, 2001). Amiodarone is iodine-rich and can cause the little thyroid function to end (Klein & Ojamaa, 2001). A recent meta-analysis seeking to find the risk of hypothyroid and coronary heart disease has found that there is a modest increase in risk for heart disease for patients with hypothyroidism (Ochs, et al., 2008). This analysis reviewed ten studies, involving over 14,000 patients (Ochs, et al., 2008). The review showed that the incidence of heart disease in the hypothyroid patient was 20% higher than that in the patient with normal thyroid function (Ochs, et al., 2008). Another rare, but significant finding in hypothyroid is Hashimoto’s encephalopathy (Huete, Sanchez-del-Rio, & French, 2007). Patients who have migraine headaches will often present to the emergency department with a headache that follows an aura, or a feeling that the headache is going to strike (Huete,
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