Hypothyroidism Medication: All You Need to Know
Hypothyroidism is a disorder caused by an underactive thyroid gland. When the thyroid is unable to produce enough of the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine to meet the body’s needs, it is known as hypothyroidism. One of the most common treatments for hypothyroidism is medication.
The Basics of Hypothyroidism
In order to understand hypothyroidism medication, it is important to have an understanding of hypothyroidism itself. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid is unable to produce enough of the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine to meet the body’s needs. This can be caused by a number of different causes including autoimmune disease, iodine deficiency, and congenital defects.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism can vary from person to person, but may include:
- Unintended weight gain
- Dry skin and hair
- Feeling cold or having a lowered body temperature
- Depression and/or trouble concentrating
Types of Hypothyroidism Medication
The most common type of hypothyroidism medication is thyroid hormone replacement, which is used to increase the amount of thyroxin and triiodothyronine in the body and therefore compensate for the inability of the thyroid to produce enough of these hormones naturally. There are several different types of thyroid hormone replacements available, including:
- Synthetic Thyroid Hormone: This is the most common type of thyroid hormone replacement, and it consists of synthetic thyroid hormones that are taken orally.
- Levothyroxine: This is another type of synthetic thyroid hormone, but it is injected, rather than taken orally.
- Natural Desiccated Thyroid Hormone: This is made from dried thyroid tissue and is similar to the hormone a healthy thyroid produces.
Important Considerations When Taking Hypothyroidism Medication
It is important to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions when taking hypothyroidism medication, as there can be serious side effects if the medication is not taken as prescribed. It is also important to keep in mind that it can take several weeks for you to begin feeling the effects of the medication and to have your blood tested regularly to monitor your levels.
Finally, it is important to keep an eye out for signs that your hypothyroidism is getting better, including
- Weight loss
- Improved energy levels
- Improved mood
- Normal temperature regulation
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