Hypothyroidism occurs when your body doesn?t produce enough thyroid hormones. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the front of your neck. It releases hormones to help your body regulate and use energy.
Your thyroid is responsible for providing energy to nearly every organ in your body. It controls functions like how your heart beats and how your digestive system works. Without the right amount of thyroid hormones, your body?s natural functions begin to slow down.
Also called underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism affects women more frequently than men. It commonly affects people over the age of 60, but can begin at any age. It may be discovered through a routine blood test or after symptoms begin.
If you?ve recently been diagnosed with the condition, it?s important to know that treatment is considered simple, safe, and effective. Most treatments rely on supplementing your low hormone levels with artificial varieties. These hormones will replace what your body isn?t producing on its own and help return your body?s functions to normal.
Macrocytic anemia is a type of anemia that causes unusually large red blood cells. Like other types of anemia, macrocytic anemia means that the red blood cells also have low hemoglobin.
Hemoglobin is an iron-containing protein that transports oxygen around the body. Deficiencies in vitamin B-12 or folate often cause macrocytic anemia, so it is sometimes called vitamin deficiency anemia.
Macrocytic anemia occurs if the red blood cells are unusually large. A unit called femtoliters (fL) is used to measure the size of blood cells. Usually, red blood cells are between 80?100 fL.
Red blood cells larger than 100 fL are considered macrocytic. When the cells grow too large, there are fewer of them than there needs to be and they carry less hemoglobin. This means the blood is not as oxygen-rich as it should be. Low blood oxygen can cause a range of symptoms and health problems.
Macrocytic anemia is not a single disease, but a symptom of several medical conditions and nutritional problems.
One of the most common types of macrocytic anemia is megaloblastic macrocytic anemia. This happens when red blood cells produce DNA too slowly to divide.
Macrocytic anemia can be broken into two main types: megaloblastic and nonmegaloblastic macrocytic anemias.
Most macrocytic anemias are also megaloblastic. Megaloblastic anemia is a result of errors in your red blood cell DNA production. This causes your body to make red blood cells incorrectly.
Possible causes include:
Nonmegaloblastic forms of macrocytic anemia may be caused by a variety of factors. These can include:
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) occurs when your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. Hyperthyroidism can accelerate your body's metabolism, causing unintentional weight loss and a rapid or irregular heartbeat.
Several treatments are available for hyperthyroidism. Doctors use anti-thyroid medications and radioactive iodine to slow the production of thyroid hormones. Sometimes, hyperthyroidism treatment involves surgery to remove all or part of your thyroid gland.
Although hyperthyroidism can be serious if you ignore it, most people respond well once hyperthyroidism is diagnosed and treated.