Hypothyroidism is a potentially dangerous medical condition caused by low thyroid function. This will deprive the body of extremely important thyroid hormones. Since your body is not getting enough hormones from the thyroid, you will start to develop several side effects. Some of the most common symptoms of a low functioning thyroid gland are severe fatigue, weight gain, constipation, sexual dysfunction, hair loss, and sensitivity to cold.
While hypothyroidism is more likely to occur in people over the age of 60, anyone can get the condition. The most common cause of a low functioning thyroid is an autoimmune disease. This will cause inflammation or a viral infection in the thyroid. Your immune system will then create antibodies to eliminate the problem in the thyroid. The process of removing the inflammation or infection will also destroy part of the thyroid gland. A low functioning thyroid gland can also be caused by radiation, pregnancy, certain medications, or an iodine deficiency. The most accurate way to know if you are suffering from hypothyroidism is through a blood test. Our doctor will examine the T4 and TSH levels in your blood. Low T4 levels and high TSH levels are the common signs of a low functioning thyroid gland.
While it can be hard to live with a low functioning thyroid, the condition will usually respond well to treatment. The most common form of treatment is a prescription for a synthetic hormone for the thyroid. This medication will be taken every day for the rest of your life, and it is usually enough to reverse the complications of a low functioning thyroid gland. You should start to notice improvement in your symptoms approximately two weeks after beginning treatment. While the synthetic hormone should work on most patients, it may take some time before the proper dosage amount is determined.
After you are taking the synthetic hormone medication for six to eight weeks, we will recommend that you return for another blood test. This test is done to examine the TSH levels in your blood. If the TSH levels in your blood are not normal, then your medicine dosage will get adjusted to avoid serious complications in the future. If your TSH levels are normal, then your medicine dosage will remain the same. Once you are taking the right amount of synthetic hormone medication each day, you will have to return for a new blood test once a year.
While synthetic hormone medication is the primary form of treatment for low thyroid function, you may also use a natural extract to treat your condition. This extract contains the thyroid hormones of a pig. You may see vitamins and pills at your local drug store that claim to naturally help your thyroid, but the proper treatment options for this condition are only available with a prescription. Do not take attempt to treat your hypothyroidism with medication that was not recommended by our doctor. You can live an active and healthy life with low thyroid function with the proper treatment. If you believe you may be living with low thyroid function, schedule your consultation with Envoque MD at either of our Scottsdale or Mesa offices today.