What is Hypothyroidism? 

Hypothyroidism is caused by an underactive thyroid gland. The thyroid gland, placed in the lower front of the neck, makes the thyroid hormones which helps the body use energy, stay warm, and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working the way they’re supposed to. When the thyroid gland is not making a sufficient amount of these hormones, it affects all these other organs from working the way they should causing the body’s processes to slow down. 

What are the symptoms of Hypothyroidism?

The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism depend on the severity of how low the level of the hormone is. Problems may develop slowly over the years. The first symptoms may go unnoticed with it being weight gain and fatigue. However, as the metabolism slows down, symptoms may become more obvious. As listed by MayoClinic, the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin, weight gain, puffy face, thinning hair, depression, and slow heart.

How is Hypothyroidism diagnosed?

Diagnosing hypothyroidism is based on the patient’s symptoms and some blood work. A low level of TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) and sometimes (T4) thyroxine would indicate hypothyroidism. However, there are certain medications that can induce your levels of TSH to gradually decrease over time, such as heparin or biotin.

How is Hypothyroidism treated?

There is no cure for hypothyroidism, however, there are treatments that help manage and control it. It can be treated by replacing the amount of hormone that your own thyroid no longer makes by bringing TSH and T4 levels back up to normal. Synthetic thyroxine pills, levothyroxine, contain hormones similar to T4, which is made by the thyroid gland. The medication gradually lowers cholesterol levels, which in turn, may reverse any weight gain caused by the disease.

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