Hypothyroidism is a condition when the Thyroid Gland does not produce enough Thyroid hormone. These hormones play a vital role in metabolism and development. There is a various question people have with Hypothyroidism and we will try to chart out the answers one at a time here. People are said to be Hypothyroid if they have little content of the hormones in them, then, what makes it so? Here, we deal with the causes ranging from the most to the least common ones; we try to take all of them.

Autoimmune thyroiditis: In some of us, the immune system that is supposed to protect us from foreign matter, mistakenly considers the Thyroid glands to be an alien object and attacks them. In that case, there aren’t ample cells and enzymes left to produce and facilitate the hormone production. The most common causes of Autoimmune Thyroiditis are Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and atrophic thyroiditis. The condition of Thyroiditis (inflammation of Thyroid), can also occur due to a viral or bacterial infection.

Iodine content in the body: The glands require Iodine to prepare the hormones; in fact, Iodine is the content of these hormones. If the iodine intake is limited, then it can lead to this condition of Hypothyroidism.  In the developing world, this is still seen as the most common cause of developing this condition of Hypothyroidism. Taking in too much iodine can cause or worsen hypothyroidism.

Drugs: There are various drugs which when taken for a longer period, or in case of a contraindicated condition, can lead to hypothyroidism. Lithium is one such drug, it is used for the management of psychiatric disorders. Few other drugs that can lead to the similar situation are Amiodarone, Interferon alpha, and interleukin-2. Always ask your doctor about a medication and for how long you should use it.

Removal of Thyroid Gland through surgery:  It is also a very common cause leading to Hypothyroidism.  In people suffering thyroid cancer, thyroid nodules, or Graves’ disease, these glands are removed surgically and people will definitely become hypothyroid, although if a part of this gland is left alive, it still can suffice to body needs.  

Radiation therapy: People with diseases like Nodular goiter, Thyroid cancer, and Graves's disease are usually subjected to radioactive iodine (I-131), this along with destroying the affected areas, also destroys the functional parts leading to diminished production of hormones.

Inborn hypothyroidism: Also known as Congenital Hypothyroidism, is a condition where a baby is born without thyroid or with only a partly formed one, in few other cases, they have this gland at the wrong location also known as ectopic thyroid.

Trauma to pituitary gland: The pituitary gland regulated the synthesis of hormones by telling the Thyroid gland, how much hormone to produce. If the Pituitary gland gets damaged due to any reason the thyroid may stop making enough hormones.

Rare thyroid infiltrating Disorders: The prevalence of this is not very high, but there are certain diseases which can deposit a few substances in the Thyroid gland which can hamper their functioning. Few such disorders are Amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, and hemochromatosis.


Levothyroxine is an effective Hypothyroidism medication. This is a man made a version of thyroid hormone which is utilized heavily as a medicine that fills the deficiency of the natural hormone. Levothyroxine is given when the thyroid does not produce enough of this hormone on its own. Apart from this, this thyroid medication also exhibits excelling appliance in the management of other kinds of thyroid disorders like as of certain types of goiters and thyroid cancer.

Levothyroxine is in its self a generic component. This drug imparts effects by mimicking the actions of endogenous thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4) which after metabolism gets converted to its active metabolite called T3. Thus by working as a replacement for natural thyroxine, this medication alleviates the symptoms of underactive thyroid.

Commercially Levothyroxine is available as an oral formulation. This medication is meant to be taken on an empty stomach, about half hour before having food and with sufficient water. It may take about 4 to 6 weeks t exert peak therapeutic response. The therapy is highly individualized and is calculated mostly on age and body weight basis. The most used dose of this drug is Levothyroxine 25mg. The most suggested dosing is 100 to 125 mcg Levothyroxine taken each day for a 70 kg adult.


Some unwanted effects that may follow this therapy and may lead to uneasiness in some patients are:

1.    Headache

2.    Diarrhea

3.    Skin rash

4.    Muscle weakness

5.    Leg cramp

6.    Nervousness

Preventions which can lead to the betterment of this therapy: 

1.   It is yet not clear if this medication can affect a baby, in case a pregnant or a lactating mother takes it. Low Thyroxine level can though harm both the mother and the baby. In case of pregnancy, your dose may be altered, have a thorough discussion with your doctor.

2.   This drug is not to give to a child unless it has been advised by the doctor. It is not meant to be taken by anyone below 6 years of age.  

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