Hypothyroidism may produce many symptoms. The alternative term 'myxoedema' refers to the accumulation of mucopolysaccharide in subcutaneous tissues.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
- deep-voiced patient with weight gain,
- cold intolerance,
- bradycardia and
Milder symptoms are, however, more common and hard to distinguish from other causes of non-specific tiredness. Many cases are detected on biochemical screening.
Special difficulties in diagnosis may arise in certain circumstances:
- Children with hypothyroidism may not show classic features but often have a slow growth velocity, poor school performance and sometimes arrest of pubertal development.
- Young women with hypothyroidism may not show obvious signs. Hypothyroidism should be excluded in all patients with oligomenorrhoea/amenorrhoea, menorrhagia, infertility or hyperprolactinaemia.
- The elderly show many clinical features that are difficult to differentiate from normal ageing.