The symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland are similar to those of several other medical ailments. Because of the similarities, specific lab testing is necessary to diagnose hypothyroidism. Once diagnosed, affected individuals can usually see their hormone levels return to normal after undergoing hormone replacement therapy.
The thyroid gland produces hormones that are transported throughout the body to facilitate cellular metabolism. The hormones are essential for cells to function efficiently. The symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland include the following:
fatigueor lethargy dryskin increasedcold sensitivity
If lab tests indicate that your symptoms are the result of low thyroid hormone levels, a synthetic hormone replacement is available. Although available under various brand names,
Hormone level testing
In addition to thyroid hormone, a separate hormone produced by the pituitary gland in the brain is also measured. The pituitary hormone is a thyroid-stimulating hormone and is referred to as TSH. The level of TSH normally controls how much hormone is produced by the thyroid.
A high level of TSH generally indicates that the body needs a greater amount of thyroid hormone. Although
Once your thyroid hormone levels are stabilized, you can reasonably expect to experience an increase in your energy level. Hormone replacement therapy may be a lifelong proposition. There are several practices to help maximize the effectiveness of hormone replacement.
Levothyroxine is typically taken each morning on an empty stomach, but within 30 minutes before breakfast. If you take iron or calcium supplements, they should not be taken within four hours of taking
If you forget to take a scheduled dose, take it as soon as possible. If the time is near for the next dose, just skip the missed dose and take the regularly scheduled
Replacement therapy can maintain your thyroid hormone level for the rest of your