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Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid produces insufficient hormone amounts. The thyroid, a small, butterfly-shaped gland located on the neck just above the collarbone. The thyroid gland produces a variety of hormones, including thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
TSH affects all of the body’s organs, tissues, and cells and, therefore, influences critical functions, including heart rate, energy levels, and metabolism. T4 and T3 are both thyroid hormones that can be found in the blood. Lab tests can confirm elevated or low thyroid levels that can indicate thyroid dysfunction.
Caused by an underactive thyroid, common hypothyroidism symptoms tend to make a person feel like they are constantly tired and, for some, weak. A greater sensitivity to temperature and gradual or faster hair loss are a common signs. Individuals with hypothyroidism may also experience elevated cholesterol levels, menstrual irregularities, and puffiness in the face and hands. Other common symptoms include:
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland, located in the neck, does not produce sufficient thyroid hormones to meet the body's needs. The most common cause is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto's thyroiditis, in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and damages the thyroid gland.
Other potential causes of hypothyroidism include thyroid surgery, radioactive iodine therapy for hyperthyroidism, certain medications, iodine deficiency, congenital thyroid disorders, and problems with the pituitary gland or hypothalamus, which regulate thyroid hormone production. Aging can also be a factor, as the thyroid gland may become less efficient over time. Accurate diagnosis of the underlying cause is crucial for effective treatment.
Hypothyroidism is typically diagnosed through a combination of medical history, physical examination, and blood tests. Healthcare providers assess symptoms and risk factors, perform a physical exam to identify signs of the condition, and measure levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine (T4) in the blood. Elevated TSH and reduced T4 levels suggest an underactive thyroid, and these tests are essential for an accurate diagnosis.
The standard treatment for hypothyroidism is the management of treatments alongside ongoing thyroid replacement therapy. Medications used in this process typically replace the thyroid hormones lost, effectively managing the condition. While treatment allows individuals to lead a normal and healthy life, it is not a cure; hypothyroidism is a chronic condition that requires ongoing medication to maintain appropriate thyroid hormone levels.
Ongoing management for hypothyroidism involves daily medication with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Regular follow-up appointments with a healthcare provider are crucial to monitor thyroid function and adjust medication dosage as needed. Individuals with hypothyroidism should also maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, exercise, and stress management, to support overall well-being. It's important to adhere to prescribed medication and maintain open communication with healthcare professionals to ensure effective, long-term management of the condition.
Due to hypothyroidism primarily being genetic, there are few ways to actively prevent it, but there are some measures may help reduce the risk of developing thyroid disorders, like hypothyroidism. These include maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management. Additionally, avoiding exposure to excessive iodine, which can affect the thyroid, and being cautious about medications that might interfere with thyroid function can contribute to thyroid health. Regular medical check-ups and early intervention for thyroid issues based on symptoms and family history are also advisable for prevention and early management.
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Yes, you can get hypothyroidism medication online through a board-certified doctor at CallonDoc.
First fill out a health questionnaire to submit your virtual consultation with a healthcare provider. They will be able to prescribe medication and have it delivered to your home or pharmacy. CallonDoc can also provide prescriptions to refill your thyroid medication.
Effectively treating thyroid conditions online will depend on several factors, including the cause of the hypothyroidism, the patient’s age, overall health, and other medications they may be taking.
Levothyroxine is considered the best medicine for hypothyroidism as it effectively replaces the missing thyroid hormone and helps to regulate the body’s metabolism, a synthetic form of the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4).
However, some patients may require other forms of thyroid hormone replacement therapy, such as combination therapy that includes both T4 and triiodothyronine (T3), another thyroid hormone. Combination therapy may be necessary for some patients who do not respond adequately to T4 alone, but it is not generally recommended as the first-line treatment for hypothyroidism.
CallonDoc can help you with online hypothyroidism treatment through an online consultation with a thyroid doctor. Our board-certified physicians can prescribe thyroid medication to manage your hypothyroidism and issue a prescription refill for your hypothyroidism medicine.
The first-line treatment for hypothyroidism is usually synthetic thyroid hormone replacement therapy. This involves taking a daily dose of levothyroxine, a synthetic version of the hormone thyroxine (T4), which is the primary hormone produced by the thyroid gland.
The dose of levothyroxine is usually based on the patient’s age, weight, and severity of hypothyroidism. Regular blood tests are performed to monitor thyroid hormone levels and adjust the dose of levothyroxine as needed.
Hypothyroidism is a chronic condition, meaning you require lifelong treatment. However, a thyroid physician can treat hypothyroidism effectively with prescription medication, regular lab work, and proper medical care.
In some cases, hypothyroidism can be caused by a temporary condition, such as inflammation of the thyroid gland (thyroiditis) or a side effect of medication, and may go away on its own once the underlying cause is treated or the medication is stopped.
It’s important to note that if left untreated or poorly managed, thyroid problems can lead to a range of complications, including high cholesterol, heart disease, infertility, and mental health issues. Therefore, it’s essential to work closely with a healthcare provider to monitor and manage hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are two conditions that affect the thyroid gland. The main difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism is the level of thyroid hormones in the body that can be established by a thyroid test.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones, resulting in a slower metabolism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism may include fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, constipation, dry skin, and depression.
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), on the other hand, occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, leading to a faster metabolism.
Other differences between the two conditions include their causes and condition management.
Hypothyroidism is usually a lifelong condition that cannot be cured. However, it can be effectively managed with thyroid hormone replacement medication, allowing individuals to lead normal, healthy lives with proper treatment and monitoring.
Yes, hypothyroidism can lead to symptoms of anxiety and nervousness as one of its possible psychological effects. Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in regulating mood and energy levels, and when they are imbalanced due to hypothyroidism, patients with the condition often admit to regular anxiety.
Hypothyroidism can sometimes contribute to an increase in blood pressure, although it's not as common as the association between hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and high blood pressure.
Hypothyroidism is usually a lifelong condition that does not go away on its own. However, it can be effectively managed and controlled with thyroid hormone replacement medication, allowing individuals to maintain normal thyroid function and lead healthy lives.
Yes, hypothyroidism can sometimes lead to dizziness, although it's not a primary symptom. Dizziness in hypothyroidism may occur due to changes in blood pressure, circulation, or inner ear function, which can be influenced by thyroid hormone imbalances.