Wednesday, 19 October 2011
Hypothyroidism is a condition that happens when the thyroid does not make enough hormone. The thyroid gland is in the front of the neck just below the voice box. It releases hormones that regulate metabolism.
The most prevalent cause of hypothyroidism is inflammation of the thyroid gland, which damages glands cells. Hashimoto's thyroiditis, when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, is the most common example of this inflammation. Some women can develop hypothyroidism after pregnancy (known as postpartum thyroiditis).
Common causes of hypothyroidism include:
Early symptoms include:
Later symptoms include if left untreated:
Your family doctor can order specific lab tests to check for thyroid disorder.
Lab tests to determine thyroid function include:
Lab tests may also reveal:
Lifelong therapy is required unless you have a condition called transient viral thyroiditis.
You must continue taking your medication even when your symptoms go away. When starting your medication, your doctor may check your hormone levels every 2 - 3 months. After that, your thyroid hormone levels should be monitored at least every year.
Very Important things to remember when you are taking thyroid hormone are:
Do NOT stop taking the medication when you feel better. Continue taking the medication exactly as directed by your family doctor.
In most cases, thyroid levels return to normal with proper treatment. However, thyroid hormone replacement must be taken for the rest of your life.
If you are being treated for hypothyroidism, call your family doctor if you:
Be sure to sit down and have an in-depth discussion with your family doctor about your specific symptoms.
At Leavitt Family Medicine, we are there for you, for all of your medical needs. We welcome your questions and comments; Please let us know how we can help you today!
Posted on 10/19/2011 10:22 PM by Paul J. Leavitt, M.D.
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