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Many patients report that before treatment for hypothyroidism, they suffered from fatigue and weight gain.
What is Hypothyroidism?
The most common thyroid disorder is called hypothyroidism. It is described as a condition in which the thyroid gland becomes underactive and does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism is most common in women who are in their middle ages. Although less common, hypothyroidism does occur in children. Neonatal hypothyroidism is a dangerous condition in which a pregnant woman suffers from hypothyroidism. It can lead to problems with the un-born fetus such as mental retardation, jaundice, and growth problems. Prompt treatment, however, can minimize these problems during a pregnancy.
Many patients report that before being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, they suffered from fatigue and weight gain. After treatment, energy and other tedious symptoms disappeared. One patient reports "I have more energy and my memory isn't hazy anymore. I actually feel like getting off of the couch."
Causes of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disorder in which the antibodies attack and gradually destroy the thyroid gland. In many countries, the lack of iodine in people's diets can lead to hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland requires iodine to operate correctly. Severe iodine deficiency is not seen in the U.S., Japan and some countries in Europe where there is a sufficient supply of iodine in water and food.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, weight gain, sleepiness, depression, constipation, an enlarged thyroid, intolerance to cold, hoarse voice and forgetfulness.
Treatment for Hypothyroidism
The treatment for hypothyroidism requires the replacement of thyroid hormones with medication. The easiest method of which to accomplish involves a synthetic form of T4 that is taken in pill form. T4, also called thyroxin, is the thyroid storage hormone. Doses are adjusted and prescribed by a health care professional.
It is important to understand that the failure of the thyroid gland in hypothyroid patients is a gradual process; therefore, a dose that is appropriate for a patient one year may subsequently be too low the following year.
Consult your Doctor
Preventive measures include a simple blood test called the thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH test. This will give your health care professional the data he/she needs to ward off the disease before its onset.
After treatment has begun for hypothyroid patients, it is important that the patient have long-term follow up treatment so that thyroid hormone and TSH levels can be re-checked. Hypothyroidism is a relatively easy illness to treat and keep under control, and in most cases, the medicine does not have any negative side effects.
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Note: The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be construed as medical advice or as a substitute for professional care. This site should not be used in place of professional medical advice. The author is not a physician. For medical emergencies, call 911!
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