What is Subclinical Hypothyroidism?
Subclinical Hypothyroidism (SCH) is a condition in which your thyroid gland does not produce enough of certain hormones, even though the hormone levels in your blood are still considered normal. Unlike Hypothyroidism, where the body does not make enough of the thyroid hormone, in Subclinical Hypothyroidism the body produces the necessary levels of hormones.
What Are the Symptoms of Subclinical Hypothyroidism?
Many people with Subclinical Hypothyroidism have no obvious symptoms of low thyroid function, but there are some common symptoms that can occur:
- Weight gain
- Dry skin
- Hair loss
- Feeling cold
- Muscle and joint aches
- Puffy face
- Brittle nails
What Causes Subclinical Hypothyroidism?
Subclinical Hypothyroidism is most often caused by an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, in which the body’s own immune system attacks the thyroid gland, making it unable to produce enough hormones. Other causes may include radiation therapy, certain medications, thyroid surgery, and iodine deficiency.
How is Subclinical Hypothyroidism Diagnosed?
Your doctor will test your thyroid hormone levels before making a diagnosis of Subclinical Hypothyroidism. Your doctor may also perform an ultrasound or other imaging tests to check for any problems with your thyroid gland.
Treatment of Subclinical Hypothyroidism
Subclinical Hypothyroidism often does not require treatment and can be managed with lifestyle changes. If your doctor finds that your hormone levels are low and not producing enough thyroxin, then medication may be recommended. The type of medication prescribed will depend on the severity of your symptoms.
Preventing Subclinical Hypothyroidism
The best way to prevent Subclinical Hypothyroidism is to have regular check-ups with your doctor and be aware of the symptoms, so that you can seek treatment early. Eating a healthy, balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough rest can also help prevent Subclinical Hypothyroidism.