Approximately 5% of Americans have hypothyroidism. This medical condition results when your thyroid produces an insufficient amount of hormones.
Thyroid hormone deficiency can cause several unfortunate side effects. These include fatigue, weight gain, intolerance to cold, and joint and muscle pain. You may also experience hair loss, infertility, and depression.
Since the condition usually progresses slowly, you may not notice that you have hypothyroidism for months or years.
Do you have any of these symptoms? If so, you may be suffering from hyperthyroidism. This article will help you understand how medical professionals treat the condition!
Thyroid Replacement Medication
Hypothyroidism is a permanent condition. However, medications can bring your thyroid hormone levels back to the normal range. As a result, these medications reduce or eliminate the effects of thyroid hormone deficiency.
The most popular medication for treating a deficiency of thyroid stimulating hormone is levothyroxine (also called Levoxyl or Synthroid). If your doctor prescribes this medicine, you can look online for the best prices.
After starting the medicine, it will take a few weeks to feel relief from your symptoms. Your doctor will use blood tests to monitor the progress you’re making and determine whether the dosage is appropriate. However, it may take some time to strike the right balance.
Usually, people with hypothyroidism remain on their medication for the duration of their lives. Nevertheless, your doctor will likely need to adjust the dosage over time.
Iodine Intake and Nutrition
Iodine is a vital mineral for proper thyroid function, and a deficiency can cause goiters to develop. Thus, one of the important steps in treating hypothyroidism is consuming enough iodine.
Moreover, some foods can improve your thyroid function, including:
- Meat and fish
- Vegetables (except cruciferous varieties)
- Nuts and seeds
In general, these foods will help you maintain a healthy weight, which may be difficult while dealing with hypothyroidism.
Just be sure to consult your doctor before making any drastic changes in your diet, as they can inhibit your body’s ability to absorb your medicine.
People with thyroid deficiency often experience muscle and joint pain, depression, and fatigue. However, regular exercise can combat these symptoms. Frequent exercise will also protect your heart health.
The best exercises for individuals with hypothyroidism are low-impact, such as swimming, yoga, or biking. If your doctor gives you the approval, you can also incorporate strength training and cardio into your exercise routine.
Thyroid Removal Surgery
Depending on how your condition progresses, your doctor may recommend partial or complete thyroid removal surgery. Usually, this surgery is only performed as a last resort.
This surgery is usually due to tumors on the thyroid, which may be cancerous. Even benign tumors can grow large enough to obstruct the throat or lead to hyperthyroidism.
Thyroid removal is also recommended if you have large goiters that interfere with speaking, breathing, or eating.
Treating Your Thyroid Hormone Deficiency
Although thyroid hormone deficiency can cause many irritating symptoms that interfere with your life, it is manageable. Of course, treating a deficiency of thyroid hormone in adults can take some time, but with the aid of your doctor, you can live a normal life!
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