What Happens If Hypothyroidism Is Left Untreated?

Medical Condition


Published on: 10-Mar-2023


10 min read


Updated on : 02-Nov-2023



What Happens If Hypothyroidism Is Left Untreated?

What Happens If Hypothyroidism Is Left Untreated?

share on

  • Toneop facebook page
  • toneop linkedin page
  • toneop twitter page
  • toneop whatsapp page

The thyroid gland is a little, butterfly-shaped organ in the front of your neck, directly below your voice box (larynx). Imagine the butterfly's body centred on your neck, its wings clinging around your windpipe (trachea). The thyroid's most important function is to regulate your metabolism. 

Metabolism is converting food into energy the body can use to perform tasks. The thyroid produces T4 and T3 hormones to regulate metabolism. These hormones circulate throughout the body, instructing cells on how much energy to expend. They are in charge of your body temperature and heart rate.

When your thyroid functions properly, it continually produces hormones, releases them, and produces new hormones to replace what has been utilised. This maintains your metabolism and all of your body's functions running smoothly. The pituitary gland, positioned in the skull's centre below the brain, regulates the number of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream. 

When the pituitary gland detects either a deficiency or an excess of thyroid hormone, it modifies its hormone (TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone). Then, it delivers it to the thyroid to balance the levels.

If the amount of thyroid hormones is higher than the normal level (hyperthyroidism) or too low (hypothyroidism), the entire body suffers in both cases.

Table Of Content

1. What Is Hypothyroidism?

2. Signs And Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism

3. What Are The Causes Of Hypothyroidism? 

4. What Happens If Hypothyroidism Is Left Untreated? 

5. Dietitian’s Recommendation

6. The Final Say

7. FAQs

What Is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism happens when the thyroid gland fails to generate enough thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland is a little butterfly-shaped gland near the front of the neck. Thyroid hormones control metabolism, body temperature, heart rate, and digestion. 

A reduction in thyroid hormone levels causes various physiological functions to slow down. Women are more likely to get hypothyroidism than men. It can start at any age, although it most typically affects middle-aged women, and pregnant women can develop it. Thyroid problems might be detected during blood testing or after symptoms appear.

Signs And Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism 

Adults with hypothyroidism may have the following signs and symptoms:

  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Itchy and dry skin
  • Weight gain
  • Change in voice
  • Muscle stiffness and pain
  • irregular or heavily flown menstruation cycles
  • Thinning of the hair Thinning of the eyebrows
  • Reduced heart rate
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Enlarged thyroid gland (goitre)

Children and young adults experience the same signs and symptoms as adults. However, they may also show:

  • Poorly developed physical and mental capacities
  • Short height
  • Delayed development of permanent teeth
  • Delayed puberty

What Are The Causes Of Hypothyroidism? 

Hypothyroidism can be caused by either a primary or secondary cause. A significant cause is a disease that affects the thyroid directly and causes it to produce low quantities of thyroid hormones. A secondary reason causes the pituitary gland to fail, preventing it from sending thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to the thyroid and balancing the thyroid hormones.

Primary hypothyroidism causes are far more common. Hashimoto's autoimmune disease is the most prevalent cause. This illness, often known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is inherited (passed down through a family). The thyroid is attacked and damaged by the body's immune system. This inhibits the thyroid's ability to produce and release thyroid hormone.

Some common causes of hypothyroidism include:

  • Thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid).
  • Hyperthyroidism treatment (radiation and surgical removal of the thyroid).
  • Iodine insufficiency (a lack of iodine in your body, which your thyroid utilises to produce hormones).
  • Hereditary diseases (a medical condition passed down through your family).
  • It can occur after pregnancy (postpartum thyroiditis) or as a result of a viral disease in some situations.
  • Birth defects. Some newborns are born with an underactive thyroid gland.
  • Pituitary disorder. The failure of the pituitary gland to produce enough thyroid-stimulating hormone is a very uncommon cause of hypothyroidism (TSH).

What Happens If Hypothyroidism Is Left Untreated?

What Happens If Hypothyroidism Is Left Untreated

ToneOp enlists various health issues which can take place if hypothyroid is left untreated. Please take notes and prevent these issues.

1. Heart Issues 

Hypothyroidism increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart failure. This is mostly because patients with an underactive thyroid tend to have high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol.

2. Peripheral Neuropathy 

Long-term hypothyroidism without therapy might harm the peripheral nerves. These nerves send signals from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. Peripheral neuropathy may cause discomfort, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs.

3. Infertility

Thyroid hormone deficiency can interfere with ovulation, limiting fertility. Besides, certain hypothyroidism causes, such as autoimmune illnesses, can also impair fertility.

4. Birth Defects

Infants born to untreated thyroid illness mothers may have a higher risk of birth abnormalities than babies born to untreated thyroid disease mothers.

Untreated hypothyroidism at birth puts infants at risk of major physical and mental development difficulties. However, suppose the issue is detected within the first few months of life. In that case, the chances of normal development are extremely high.

5. Myxedema Coma

This rare, life-threatening illness can develop when hypothyroidism goes untreated for an extended period. Sedatives, illness, or other forms of stress on the body can all cause a myxedema coma. Its symptoms include severe cold intolerance and drowsiness, profound exhaustion and unconsciousness. Myxedema coma necessitates immediate medical attention.

6. Goiter

An underactive thyroid may grow (goitre). Goitres are painless bumps in the front of the neck. They can cause coughing, make your voice hoarse, and interfere with breathing and swallowing. If the goitre is small and not causing symptoms, it may not require treatment. If treatment is required, it usually consists of medication or surgery.

7. Heart Disease

Having an underactive thyroid can raise your chance of developing heart disease. This is because it can directly influence the heart, making it beat slower and less efficiently. It also has an effect on the coronary arteries, decreasing blood flow. This increases the chances of developing coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure. If you currently have cardiac disease, hypothyroidism might exacerbate it.

Dietitian’s Recommendation

Understanding the signs of hypothyroidism and seeking correct medical care is critical to avoiding problems. Hypothyroidism can be easily managed with the right treatment, such as medications, nutrition, and exercise programs. It does not have to disrupt your daily life.

-Dietitian Lavina Chauhan

The Final Say

Hypothyroidism is simple to identify and cure. The difficulty is recognising your symptoms could be caused by your thyroid. Inform your provider if you are frequently tired or irritable. Weight gain and hair loss are two more possible symptoms.

Receiving therapy early can reduce problems of untreated hypothyroidism. This is especially crucial if you intend to become pregnant or have risk factors.


1. Does hypothyroidism get worse over time?

Hypothyroidism can become a severe and life-threatening medical condition if left untreated. In addition, if you are not treated, your symptoms can become more severe.

2. How long can hypothyroidism last?

An underactive thyroid is a lifelong condition, so you will usually need to take levothyroxine for the rest of your life.

3. Can Ayurveda cure hypothyroidism permanently?

Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are two common thyroid disorders affecting how we create and use energy. Though these conditions have no cure, they can be managed with a few simple natural treatments in Ayurveda.

4. What is the best exercise for hypothyroidism?

Those with hypothyroidism frequently experience muscle and joint pain. Low-impact activities that minimise stress on joints such as the knee, hip, or back may be easier than strenuous activities. Some options include yoga, pilates, walking, swimming, and biking.

5. Can you cure hypothyroidism with diet?

Generally, there is no hypothyroidism diet. Although there is no evidence eating or avoiding certain foods will cure hypothyroidism, it can be easily managed.


TONEOP is a platform dedicated to improving and maintaining your good health through a comprehensive range of goal-oriented diet plans and recipes. It also intends to provide value-added content to our consumers.  

Toneop: Best Health And Fitness App in India

Download TONEOP to access our diet plans, recipes & much more. 

Android userhttps://bit.ly/ToneopAndroid

Apple user-   https://apple.co/38ykc9H

Subscribe to Toneop Newsletter

Simply enter your email address below and get ready to embark on a path to vibrant well-being. Together, let's create a healthier and happier you!

Download our app

Download TONEOP: India's Best Fitness Android App from Google Play StoreDownload TONEOP: India's Best Health IOS App from App Store

Comments (0)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Explore by categories

toneop instagram page


toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image
toneop instagram pagesample image