What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body lacks sufficient thyroid hormone. Since the main purpose of thyroid hormone is to regulate the body’s metabolism, it makes sense that people with Hypothyroidism will have symptoms associated with a slow metabolism. Estimates vary, but approximately 10 million Americans have this common medical condition. As many as 10% of women (and a large number of men as well) may have some degree of thyroid hormone deficiency. Hypothyroidism is quite common, and millions of people are unaware that they suffer from hypothyroidism or subclinical hypothyroidism, and pay a price in the form of increased health concerns such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, stroke as well as decreased quality of life.
What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?
Recognizing the symptoms of hypothyroidism is extremely important. The sooner you detect the symptoms, the sooner you can receive proper treatment to manage the disorder.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone. Symptoms may include any of the following:
- feeling run down
- dry skin and brittle hair
- muscle cramps
- weight gain
- women may experience abnormally heavy menstrual flow
- goiter (swelling in the front of the neck due to thyroid enlargement)
What causes Hypothyroidism?
Most cases Hypothyroidism in the US are caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, a condition where the patient’s immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid. Worldwide, the most common cause of hypothyroidism is lack of dietary iodine. Other causes of hypothyroidism include:
- treatment of hyperthyroidism
- some medications
- present from birth
- inflammation from viral infection
- pituitary gland dysfunction
What conditions or factors increase the risk of developing Hypothyroidism?
- Age (most cases diagnosed in 40s or later)
- Female gender
- Having diabetes or autoimmune disease
- Previous thyroid surgery
- Previous radiation exposure (medical or environmental)
- Previous treatment for hyperthyroidism
How is the diagnosis of Hypothyroidism made?
Diagnosis of Hypothyroidism is made by review of a medical history, symptoms, a physical examination, and laboratory tests that measure blood levels of
- Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
- Thyroxine (T4)
- Liothyronine (T3)
How is hypothyroidism treated?
Fountain of Youth MD physicians exclusively utilize Desiccated Thyroid USP to treat hypothyroidism.
What dosage issues might I encounter?
- If your thyroid replacement dosage is too low, some symptoms of hypothyroidism may continue.
- If your dosage is too high, you may experience symptoms of an overactive thyroid, including nervousness, racing heart, trouble sleeping, and shaking.
What about long term follow-up and risks for my family members?
- If you have hypothyroidism, you should see your physician regularly. Fountain of Youth MD clients being treated for thyroid concerns are checked every 90 days and have their thyroid levels checked at least twice per year.
- Hypothyroidism tends to run in families, so if you suffer from thyroid concerns please have your family members examined for thyroid problems.