Hypothyroidism. What is the big deal?

I like to refer to the thyroid as the “gas pedal to the body.”  The thyroid gland is located in the neck. It makes two kinds of thyroid hormones: T3 and T4. Thyroid hormones regulate how the body uses and stores energy.  These hormones also help the brain, muscles, heart, and other organs work properly. 

If your thyroid is sluggish you can

  • feel fatigue,
  • have dry skin,
  • gain weight,
  • hoarseness,
  • weakness of muscles,
  • thinning hair,
  • impaired memory,
  • increased sensitivity to cold,
  • constipation,
  • have achy muscles.

What may happen if hypothyroidism isn’t treated?  For one, your symptoms may worsen. Untreated hypothyroidism can also lead to other health problems like infertility, memory loss, depression and heart failure. 

Who is at risk for hypothyroidism?  Anyone.  but, you are at increased risk if you are a woman older than 60, have an autoimmune disease, have a family history of thyroid problems, have been pregnant or have delivered a baby within the past six months. 

How it is diagnosed?  Bloodwork.  The tests measure the level of thyroid hormones.  The TSH level is the best screening test for hypothyroidism.

Treatment is usually lifelong.  thyroid hormone pills come in different brand and generic forms.  Be sure to followup with bloodwork to confirm that your dose is correct.

About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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