What happens to the body when TSH levels reach extreme levels (>500)? I know about fatigue and depression but I am curious about what happens to the actual mechanics of the body. Thank you for your time.
Damages fron symptoms of hypothyroidism will depend on how long hypo before being diagnosed and treated, and how severe the hypothyroidism.
The most dangerous effects on the body would be:
Myxedema coma - life-threatening complication of untreated hypothyroidism.
Heart - Thyroid hormone is very important for normal cardiovascular function, so when not enough thyroid hormone is present neither the heart nor the blood vessels function normally. In hypothyroidism the heart muscle is weakened in both its contraction phase, and also its relaxation phase. This means that the heart cannot pump as vigorously as it should, and the amount of blood it ejects with each heart beat is reduced. In addition, because the heart muscle does not relax normally in between heart beats, a potentially serious condition called diastolic dysfunction may result. Furthermore, hypothyroidism reduces the amount of nitric oxide in the lining of the blood vessels, causing them to stiffen.
Cholesterol and Lipid Levels - Hypothyroidism is significantly associated with unhealthy lipid levels.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension). Hypothyroidism - may slow the heart rate to less than 60 beats per minute, reduce the heart’s pumping capacity, and increase the stiffness of blood vessel walls.
Homocysteine - Studies are also finding that hypothyroidism is associated with elevated levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that is increasingly becoming a major suspect in heart diseases.
Iron deficiency anemia.
Glaucoma. Some research has associated hypothyroidism with an increased risk for glaucoma.
Headache. Hypothyroidism may also worsen headaches in people predisposed to them.
Depression. Depression is common in hypothyroidism and can be severe
Mental and Behavioral Impairment. Untreated hypothyroidism can, over time, cause mental and behavioral impairment and, eventually, even dementia.
Goiter - may cause the thyroid gland to become enlarged and form a goiter (termed a "compensatory goiter")
Hypothyroidism is also commonly associated with iron deficiency anemia and respiratory problems. Some research has associated hypothyroidism with an increased risk for glaucoma. Hypothyroidism may also worsen headaches in people predisposed to them.
There are other health consequences that can be dealt with and heal from, but the above is the more serious.
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