Can Thyroid Problems Cause Itching

Can thyroid problems cause itching? Though the exact answer depends on the exact nature of a thyroid problem, the general answer is yes. Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland, can cause dry skin that becomes itchy.

The thyroid is a small gland located in the lower neck. This gland produces hormones that are vital for basic organ and metabolism function. The two most common types of thyroid problems are an overactive thyroid or an underactive thyroid. It is also possible to develop thyroid nodules, or tiny lumps on the gland, and thyroid cancer.

Underactive Thyroid
An underactive thyroid means your thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones for your body to function properly. An underactive thyroid is the most common type of thyroid problem and tends to occur in women more than men. When your body is low on these basic hormones, your metabolism slows down. Since metabolism is basically the process that creates energy for every cell, the slow down effects the entire body.

Underactive Thyroid Causes
An underactive thyroid is often caused by an autoimmune disorder known as Hashimoto's disease. The thyroid problem can sometimes caused by congenital hypothyroidism, or being born with an underactive thyroid. It can be caused by Thyroiditis, an inflammation that leads to hormone leakage, or imbalanced iodine levels. It can also be caused by different medications or thyroid surgery.

Underactive Thyroid Symptoms
It is possible to have an underactive thyroid problem without experiencing immediate symptoms. The problem may exist for years before the symptoms become noticeable enough to compel a visit to the doctor. In addition to dry and itchy skin, the problem can cause unexplained weight gain, constant fatigue, lasting depression, intolerance to cold, constipation and a slow heart rate.

Underactive Thyroid Complications
Left untreated, an underactive thyroid can lead to many complications and, in rare cases, even death. An underactive thyroid can increase the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis, a thickening of artery walls. If your body is so low on thyroid hormones that it slows down to the point of almost stopping, a myxedema coma may occur.

Underactive Thyroid Treatment
Most underactive thyroid cases can be treated with a synthetic thyroid supplement. This daily treatment can take several months to start working, but tends to be very effective and relatively easy. Depending on the exact cause of your underactive thyroid, you may have to stay on the pills for the rest of your life.

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