If you think you may have hypothyroidism or someone you are close to has been diagnosed with low thyroid, you might have a number of questions about the condition. We hope the frequently asked questions below will help.
What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a hormone deficiency. Your thyroid gland, located at the front of your neck, produces thyroid hormones, which regulate your metabolism. When you have hypothyroidism, you are not producing enough of these hormones, and you may have a number of uncomfortable symptoms as a result.
What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?
Fatigue, weight loss and constipation are some of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism. If you have low thyroid, you might also experience depression, irritability and trouble concentrating. Your muscles or joints may ache, and you might have dry, itchy or scaly skin. You may also look unusually pale, or your skin may even turn yellow. You may not have all of these symptoms. Many people do not realize that their thyroid levels are low until they get tested.
What causes hypothyroidism?
Anyone can get hypothyroidism, but you may be more likely to develop it if you have a family history of low thyroid. Most cases of hypothyroidism are believed to be the result of a combination of environment and genes. Certain treatments and medications, such as radiation therapy for cancer, can also cause hypothyroidism.
How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?
Although you may suspect you have low thyroid based on your symptoms, you will need a blood test to determine whether your hormone levels are low. When you come to Low T Center for a health assessment, we will do a full blood panel, including TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), which measures your thyroid level. If your TSH comes back outside of the normal range, we may complete a second blood draw to have your T3 and T4 analyzed to further understand your thyroid health.
How do you treat low thyroid?
At Low T Center, we usually treat low thyroid with medication that will bring your thyroid levels back to normal. The type of medication you take and how much you take will vary depending on your needs and what kind of thyroid hormone you are deficient in. Treatment also involves regular follow-up so we can monitor your hormone levels and make adjustments if needed.
What are the benefits of treatment for hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism can make you feel bad and significantly decrease your quality of life. When you are treated for hypothyroidism, your symptoms should be relieved. Your energy should return along with your ability to concentrate. Your moods should even out, and any other physical symptoms, such as joint aches and pains, should also subside. Your metabolism should also start to work more efficiently.
Can hypothyroidism be cured?
Hypothyroidism cannot be cured, but treatment with medication is very effective.