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Categories of Hypothyroidism

The Three Major Categories of Hypothyroidism Explained

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones, affecting metabolism and energy levels. Hypothyroidism is a thyroid condition characterized by thyroid gland issues, with primary hypothyroidism being the most common. Secondary hypothyroidism occurs when the pituitary gland lacks thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), while tertiary hypothyroidism occurs when the hypothalamus lacks TSH. If you want to learn more about hypothyroidism, visit Dr. Ruben Valdes at The Thyroid Place. For more information and guidance contact us now or book an appointment today. We are located at 3101 Maguire Blvd Suite 101, Orlando FL 32803.

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormones, affecting metabolism and energy levels. Hypothyroidism is a thyroid condition characterized by thyroid gland issues, with primary hypothyroidism being the most common. Secondary hypothyroidism occurs when the pituitary gland lacks thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), while tertiary hypothyroidism occurs when the hypothalamus lacks TSH. If you want to learn more about hypothyroidism, visit Dr. Ruben Valdes at The Thyroid Place. For more information and guidance contact us now or book an appointment today. We are located at 3101 Maguire Blvd Suite 101, Orlando FL 32803.
Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormones, affecting metabolism and energy levels. Hypothyroidism is a thyroid condition characterized by thyroid gland issues, with primary hypothyroidism being the most common. Secondary hypothyroidism occurs when the pituitary gland lacks thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), while tertiary hypothyroidism occurs when the hypothalamus lacks TSH. If you want to learn more about hypothyroidism, visit Dr. Ruben Valdes at The Thyroid Place. For more information and guidance contact us now or book an appointment today. We are located at 3101 Maguire Blvd Suite 101, Orlando FL 32803.

Table of Contents:

What are the three types of hypothyroidism?
What is the most severe form of hypothyroidism?
Who is most likely to get hypothyroidism?
How fast does hypothyroidism progress?

What are the three types of hypothyroidism?


Hypothyroidism is categorized into three primary types, each having distinct features and causes:

Primary hypothyroidism – This is the most common type of hypothyroidism, occurring when the thyroid gland itself is unable to produce enough hormones. The most common causes of primary hypothyroidism include autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, iodine deficiency, or the surgical removal of the thyroid.

Secondary hypothyroidism – This type of hypothyroidism results from a failure of the pituitary gland to produce sufficient amounts of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). The pituitary gland, located in the brain, regulates thyroid hormone production. Common causes of this condition include pituitary tumors, surgical removal of the pituitary gland, or damage due to radiation therapy.

Tertiary hypothyroidism – When the hypothalamus does not produce enough thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) to signal the pituitary gland to secrete TSH, it results in tertiary hypothyroidism. This is the least common kind of hypothyroidism, and it is typically associated with tumors or hypothalamic injury.

In addition, hypothyroidism may be permanent or transient. While transient hypothyroidism doesn’t require long-term treatment, permanent hypothyroidism will need ongoing management.

What is the most severe form of hypothyroidism?


The most extreme type of hypothyroidism is known as myxedema coma. While this condition is rare, it is a severe and life-threatening manifestation of hypothyroidism. Myxedema coma can occur in patients with untreated or poorly managed hypothyroidism, often triggered by infections, cold exposure, or underlying health conditions.

Some of the most common symptoms of myxedema coma include severe hypotension, hypothermia, respiratory depression, and altered mental status, leading to coma. With this condition, immediate medical intervention is critical and typically involves intravenous thyroid hormone replacement and supportive care to manage breathing, blood pressure, and temperature.

To prevent hypothyroidism from progressing to myxedema coma, it’s important to work with healthcare professionals to successfully manage your symptoms and prevent complications.

Who is most likely to get hypothyroidism?


Hypothyroidism can affect anyone, but certain groups are more susceptible, including:

Older adults – The risk of hypothyroidism increases with age. Older adults are more likely to have autoimmune diseases, which can contribute to thyroid dysfunction.

Women – This disorder is far more common in women than in men, particularly in individuals over the age of 60. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause increase the risk of developing hypothyroidism.

Patients with autoimmune diseases – Those with autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus are at higher risk of developing Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the most common cause of hypothyroidism.

Those with a family history of thyroid conditions – If you have a family history of thyroid disease, you are at an increased risk of developing similar concerns.

Patients with iodine deficiencies – Although rare in the United States due to iodized salt, iodine deficiency remains a common cause of hypothyroidism in other parts of the world.

Furthermore, medications like lithium, amiodarone, and certain cancer drugs can interfere with thyroid function. If you are taking one of these medications, you are at increased risk of developing hypothyroidism. If you have these risk factors, it’s strongly urged that you see a specialist to have your thyroid health monitored.

How fast does hypothyroidism progress?


In the majority of cases, hypothyroidism develops gradually over months or even years. Initially, the symptoms may be mild and easily overlooked, such as chronic fatigue, unexplained weight gain, or feeling cold. Over time, these symptoms become more pronounced as hormone levels become further imbalanced.

However, in some cases, hypothyroidism can develop rapidly, especially if it is triggered by a significant stressor such as surgery, a severe infection, or certain medications. Regular monitoring is essential, especially for individuals at higher risk of hypothyroidism.

Once the condition is diagnosed, hypothyroidism can be effectively managed with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Most patients experience symptom relief within a few weeks of starting treatment, and hormone levels can normalize within a few months. For comprehensive thyroid health monitoring and hypothyroidism care, schedule a visit to The Thyroid Place LLC in Orlando. For more information and guidance contact us now or book an appointment today. We are located at 3101 Maguire Blvd Suite 101, Orlando FL 32803. We are serving clients from Orlando, FL, Winter Park FL, Fairview Shores FL, Edgewood FL, and surrounding areas!

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3101 Maguire Blvd Suite 101,
Orlando, FL 32803