Complications of Hypothyroidism
If left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to the following complications:
- Mumps. Continuously stimulated thyroid gland can cause enlargement of the gland (mumps). Although it usually does not provide significant interference, an emerging and enlarged goiter can sometimes inhibit digestion and breathing. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the main cause of goiter in a person.
- Miksedema. Miksedema is a complication of long-term hypotyroidism that is undiagnosed and can endanger the life of the patient. The symptoms of myxoedema are, among others, insoluble cold temperatures, severe dizziness, severe fatigue, loss of consciousness, or even coma (myxedema coma). Coma due to myxoedema can be caused by sedatives, infections, and body stress. Miksedema should be treated immediately so that the patient’s life can be saved.
- Abnormalities in infants. Babies conceived and born by women with hypothyroidism will be particularly vulnerable to birth defects. In addition, babies born to women with hypothyroidism may experience delays in physical and mental growth.
- Infertility. Hypothyroidism can interfere with the ovulation process in women that cause infertility.
- Heart disorders. Hypothyroidism can cause heart disease due to the accumulation of bad fats or LDL (low density lipoprotein) in the blood of patients with hypothyroidism. LDL will cause increased cholesterol in the blood and interfere with the heart’s ability to pump blood. This condition can lead to heart enlargement, even heart failure. Cases of mild hypothyroidism may also lead to an increase in blood cholesterol concentration.
- Mental disorders. Hypothyroidism can cause slowing of one’s mental function, one of which is depression. Depression due to hypothyroidism can get worse over time if not treated properly.
- Peripheral nerve disorders. Long-term hypothyroidism can cause peripheral nerve damage that serves to carry nerve impulses from the central nervous to various organs of the body. Damage to the peripheral nerves may be marked by pain, stiffness, and tingling in the hands or feet. In addition, hypothyroidism can also cause the muscles to become weak and uncontrolled.