Hypothyroidism

About

Hypothyroidism

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is caused by an underactive thyroid gland that doesn’t produce enough hormone. The thyroid is located at the bottom front of the neck, surrounding the trachea. This small gland produces important hormones, T3 and T4, that regulate metabolism, which in turn effects all organs in the body. 

Is hypothyroidism an autoimmune disease?

Hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease, which means the body produces antibodies that attack the body’s own cells. Hashimoto’s disease, which causes about 90% of all hypothyroidism cases, destroys thyroid cells. 

Can hypothyroidism be cured?

It cannot be cured with medication, but is easily treatable with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. If the thyroid gland becomes inflamed, the inflammation can sometimes trigger short-term hyper- or hypothyroidism.

Causes

What causes hypothyroidism?

There are several ways that a person can develop hypothyroidism, including:

  • Autoimmune disease causes the body’s immune system to attack its own thyroid cells. Cell destruction leads to a deficiency in thyroid hormone secretion.
  • Having treatment for an overly active thyroid gland, called hyperthyroidism (thyroid produces too much hormone). Patients being treated for hyperthyroidism are at risk of having their thyroid over-suppressed or damaged, both of which can lead to hypothyroidism.
  • Thyroid removal: surgical removal of the thyroid may be required to treat thyroid nodules or thyroid cancer. Surgery can lead to hypothyroidism.
  • Being born without a thyroid gland or with a defective thyroid is rare, but causes hypothyroidism.

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Without Insurance

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$149

Initial Visit

$75

Follow Up

Symptoms

What are hypothyroidism symptoms?

Symptoms of hypothyroidism can vary from person to person. Some of the more common hypothyroidism symptoms include:

  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Low energy
  • Weight gain
  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Thinning hair
  • Depression

Diagnosis

How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?

Blood tests are required to diagnose hypothyroidism. Your doctor will check TSH, T3, and T4 hormone levels to be sure they’re within the normal range. Your doctor will also do a physical exam, and ask if you have had any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Treatment

How is hypothyroidism treated?

Treating hypothyroidism is simple. A daily intake of oral medications, usually Levothyroxine, can help replenish the low thyroid hormone levels, and treat the symptoms. Most people will need to be treated the rest of their lives. However, the medication dosage can be adjusted throughout treatment to better meet your needs. It will require blood work every 6-12 months.

References

Mayo Clinic. (2020, November 19). Hypothyroidism – Symptoms and causes. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20350284

Information

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Affordable –
with or without insurance

With Insurance

Diabetes and Endocrinology

Your copay
Depending on insurance

Without Insurance

Diabetes and Endocrinology

$149

Initial Visit

$75

Follow Up