Hypothyroidism: When to Suspect and When to Treat

Are you experiencing unexplained fatigue and muscle weakness despite having sufficient hours of sleep? Do your friends notice sudden changes in weight, mood, and memory even though you rest adequately? If you have sudden changes in mood, energy, and behavior with unprovoked weight gain, you may be experiencing thyroid problems. Hypothyroidism is a common condition that affects young adult women in the United States. At the earliest sign of thyroid hormone problems, it is crucial to visit an endocrinologist, especially one from reputable health centers in Logan such as RedRiver Health and Wellness Center, to receive chronic fatigue treatment right away.

When Will I Suspect Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a disorder that often occurs among young adult and elderly females. Statistics show that women have a tenfold increased likelihood of developing hypothyroidism compared to men. Heredity also predisposes you to developing thyroid problems. If an immediate relative has a history of hypothyroidism, it is crucial to undergo laboratory tests to rule out the disease. Therefore, if you experience symptoms of chronic fatigue, restlessness, obesity, constipation, and dry skin, consultation with an endocrinologist is highly recommended.

What is the Treatment for Hypothyroidism?

Doctor checking patient neck

The management of hypothyroidism requires a multidisciplinary approach. Since low thyroid hormone levels may present with different manifestations, each symptom must be treated to provide holistic patient treatment.

Levothyroxine is the mainstay of treatment in cases of hypothyroidism. Levothyroxine, which is a thyroid hormone replacement drug, is important to maintain normal metabolism in the body. This medication is taken orally to restore adequate hormone levels in the circulation. The dosage often depends on the severity of symptoms during physician examination. In most cases, regular drug administration also reverses the majority of the symptoms of fatigue.

After medical treatment of hypothyroidism, your physician may order a further workup to check for underlying clinical conditions that may have resulted from abnormally low thyroid hormone levels. Blood workup is performed to measure fasting blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Since hypothyroidism causes decreased metabolic rate, patients with hypothyroidism have a higher risk of developing hypothyroidism and obesity. Hence, lipid-lowering drugs and anti-diabetic medications may be started to treat both conditions.

For patients with dry, coarsened skin due to hypothyroidism, your physician may provide emollients and moisturizing soap to reduce itchiness. Vitamins and supplements will also be added to your diet to facilitate bone growth and development.

When Should I Have Follow-up Consultations with a Physician?

Regular follow-up consultation with a physician is crucial to determine the appropriate dosage and monitor for post-treatment side effects. After the initial consultation, you are advised to follow up after six to eight weeks to assess response to the medication. Results after repeat laboratory testing are also showed to an endocrinologist to check the thyroid hormone levels. When you reach target hormone levels, the schedule of the next follow-up consultation is set after six months.

Hypothyroidism causes significant changes in your metabolic rate, which results in substantial impairment in the different organs of the body. Therefore, it is crucial to find a clinic that offers different thyroid function tests and imaging modalities to ensure proper management of your case.

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