A Complete Look at Hypothyroidism

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Treatment for hypothyroidism involves taking synthetic thyroid hormones. These medications are safe and effective once a person takes the right dose. Hypothyroidism is a relatively common condition, affecting almost 5 people out of in the U. This condition occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones.

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Because thyroid hormones are essential for the normal functioning of many different parts of the body, low levels can cause a wide variety of symptoms. It is vital that people with these symptoms or other symptoms of hypothyroidism see their doctor for evaluation and treatment. Doctors can prescribe hormone replacement pills to treat individuals with low levels of thyroid hormones effectively. Article last reviewed by Mon 25 February Visit our Hypothyroid category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Hypothyroid.

All references are available in the References tab. Briden, L. What your period is trying to tell you about your thyroid. Emamifar, A.

Hypothyroidism from head to toe*

Thyroid disorders in patients with newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis is associated with poor initial treatment response evaluated by disease activity score in 28 joints-C-reactive protein DASCRP : An observational cohort study. Hypothyroidism underactive thyroid. Safer, J. Thyroid hormone action on skin.

Thyroid Gland - Thyroid Hormones

Samuels, M. Psychiatric and cognitive manifestations of hypothyroidism. Sanyal, D. Hypothyroidism and obesity: An intriguing link. Udovcic, M.


Hypothyroidism and the heart. Willard, D. Thyroid function testing in patients with newly diagnosed hyperlipidemia. Vincent, M. A descriptive study of alopecia patterns and their relation to thyroid dysfunction. Yaylali, O. Does hypothyroidism affect gastrointestinal motility? MLA Leonard, Jayne. MediLexicon, Intl. APA Leonard, J. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

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  4. Optional Comments max. Send securely. Message sent successfully The details of this article have been emailed on your behalf. Reviewed by Vincent J. Tavella, MPH. When to see a doctor Summary. Image credit: Stephen Kelly, A person with hypothyroidism can continually feel cold. Everything you need to know about goiter. Hypothyroidism is more likely to affect people over Related coverage.

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    Hypothyroidism symptoms: 12 signs to look out for

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    Popular in: Hypothyroid Hypothyroidism: Foods to eat and avoid 12 signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism Through my eyes: Autoimmune conditions. Subscribe Your privacy is important to us. Dysgenesis is more common in girls than in boys but in dyshormonogenesis boys and girls are equally affected. Most babies born with CHT look entirely normal and have no obvious symptoms. That is why it is so important that all children are tested at birth. CHT is often diagnosed before the baby shows any definite signs of the condition. Some babies with hypothyroidism are sleepy and difficult to feed although lots of babies have these symptoms without being hypothyroid!

    This really highlights the importance of screening for CHT in all newborn babies. Some hypothyroid babies also have prolonged jaundice with an associated yellow skin after birth. Other later symptoms may include constipation, low muscle tone floppiness , cold extremities, and poor growth. When appropriate treatment is started promptly children with CHT develop within normal limits in a way that is identical, or nearly identical, to unaffected siblings brothers and sisters. If your child is diagnosed with CHT the doctor will examine them very carefully to check for any other problems.

    Untreated, CHT can result in impaired brain development. In the past, babies with hypothyroidism were often not diagnosed until they were several months old and started on treatment late. As a consequence, some had learning difficulties or mild clumsiness. We now know that if thyroid hormone treatment can be started before the baby is about two to three weeks old the likelihood of significant long-lasting problems are low.

    All babies have a heel-prick blood test at five days of age to screen for several conditions. TSH is produced by the brain and is a messenger to tell the thyroid gland to make more thyroid hormone. If the thyroid hormone is low, the brain makes more TSH message to tell the thyroid to work even harder. If the TSH is high on the heel-prick blood test, it suggests that the thyroid hormone is low and the baby will need to have a small blood sample taken from a vein to confirm the diagnosis.

    If your baby tests positive, his or her condition should be managed by a paediatric endocrinologist a hormone specialist who deals with children or a paediatrician with a special interest in endocrinology.


    Treatment with levothyroxine synthetic thyroid hormone, T4 should be started without delay. The dose is carefully calculated based on factors such as the weight of the baby, and will need adjusting regularly as the baby grows. The adjustment is monitored by blood tests that measure thyroid hormone and TSH levels. These tests are carried out every few weeks during the first few months of life and around every two to six months during infancy and childhood. You must treat with T4 rather than T3 in children because the brain requires T4 to develop well and the body makes T3 from the T4.

    Levothyroxine is prescribed in tablets or a solution. Levothyroxine tablets can be crushed in 1oz 30ml of liquid water, breast or formula milk. The liquid can be given on a spoon or with a medicine dispenser pipette or pacifier. Levothyroxine solution is made in three different strengths so always check that the bottles are the same and check with your pharmacist if unsure. It is quite sticky and you can also mix it in 1oz 30ml of milk if your baby prefers this.

    Once your child is old enough to drink from a cup or beaker, you can give levothyroxine tablets along with a drink of water. Treatment with levothyroxine simply replaces the thyroxine that the thyroid gland is unable to make.