About Hypothyroidism Treatment
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
What is hypothyroidism?
This is a common disorder in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. It is also known as underactive thyroid or low thyroid.What causes hypothyroidism?
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism include:
- Low dietary intake of iodine
- Previous treatment with radioactive iodine
- Injury to the hypothalamus or the anterior pituitary gland
- Certain medications
- Lack of a functioning thyroid at birth
- Previous thyroid surgery
- Hashimoto's thyroiditis
- Radiation therapy to the neck area
- Fatigue and weakness
- Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
- Coarse, dry hair and skin
- Hair loss
- Muscle cramps and aches
- Irritability and depression
- Memory loss
- Abnormal menstrual cycles
- Decreased libido
- Poor ability to tolerate cold
- Swelling of the front part of the neck due to goiter
If your doctor suspects that you may have hypothyroidism he will ask you about any symptoms you are experiencing and perform a physical exam. In addition, your doctor will order blood tests to measure the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine levels.A thyroid ultrasound or thyroid scan can also be ordered to check for nodules or inflammation.Treatment
Complications of Hypothyroidism
- Hormone replacement: This is the most common way of treating hypothyroidism and involves administering a synthetic long-acting form of thyroxine. A full dose adjusted to weight can be started immediately in young and healthy people. People that are elderly or with heart disease are started with a lower dose. Your doctor will closely monitor you to determine whether the dose is adequate.
- Desiccated animal thyroid: This is an animal based thyroid gland extract which contains forms of T4, T3, calcitonin, T1, and T2. However, its use today is unsupported by evidence.
- Intensive care admission: Some cases of hypothyroidism such as severe decompensated hypothyroidism or Myxedema coma usually require admission to the intensive care unit. Your doctor will closely observe and treat any abnormalities in blood pressure, sodium levels, breathe and temperature control. In severe cases, mechanical ventilation may be required as well as vasopressor agents, careful rewarming, fluid replacement corticosteroids. Hypertonic saline solutions or vasopressin receptor antagonists can be used to carefully correct low sodium levels. If the level of consciousness is too low to be able to safely swallow medication, levothyroxine or liothyronine may be administered intravenously.
- Untreated hypothyroidism may cause heart problems, joint pain, infertility, and obesity.
- Thyroid problems in a pregnant woman can affect the developing baby and lead to problems with mental development.
- This is because the baby receives all thyroid hormone from its mother during the first three months of pregnancy.
- Extremely low levels of thyroid hormone may cause a life-threatening condition called myxedema. Myxedema is the most severe form of hypothyroidism.
It is very important to let your doctor know all medications and supplements that you are taking; even the herbal ones and over the counter medicines. This is because some medications can interfere with how your body absorbs synthetic thyroid hormone.
You will require regular blood tests to check the levels of your thyroid hormone. Your medication dose may be adjusted by your doctor from time to time. Using iodized salt is the most universally used method to prevent hypothyroidism. However, excessive dietary intake of iodine can worsen some cases of hypothyroidism.
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