Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
A common thyroid disorder, hypothyroidism occurs due to an underactive thyroid gland, the butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck. As the hormone produced by the thyroid gland is a crucial component of a healthy metabolism, hypothyroidism can have a number of damaging consequences for one’s health. Despite it being the most common form of thyroid disease, there are still many questions surrounding this condition. Keep reading for the answers to some of the top patient questions about hypothyroidism.
Top Patient Questions about Hypothyroidism
- What exactly is it? Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce enough of the hormones necessary for a healthy metabolism. This can slow the chemical processes of the body as well as one’s metabolism, while also potentially leading to fatal complications.
- What are the symptoms? The symptoms of hypothyroidism typically vary, depending on the severity of the case. Symptoms may not even be noticeable at first, but can gradually intensify as time goes on and the metabolism slows. Patients with hypothyroidism typically experience fatigue, constipation, dry skin, weight gain, sensitivity to cold, muscle weakness, and more.
- What are the causes? Hypothyroidism can be brought on by a number of different factors, including hyperthyroidism treatment, thyroid surgery, autoimmune disease, radiation therapy, and certain medications. In rarer cases, this condition can be caused by congenital disease, pregnancy, pituitary disorder, and iodine deficiency.
- Am I at risk? While everyone is susceptible to hypothyroidism, there are some reasons why you might be at a higher risk. Women over the age of 60, those who have or have a relative with an autoimmune disease, have undergone treatment with anti-thyroid medications or radioactive iodine, have received any radiation to the upper chest or neck, have recently been pregnant or given birth, or have had thyroid surgery are at an increased risk for this condition.
- What are the treatment options? The traditional treatment option for patients living with hypothyroidism is through daily use of thyroid hormone pills, or synthetic levothyroxine. Patients undergoing this treatment are typically expect to undergo routine visits with their doctor to ensure the correct dosage is being administered.
Board Certified Physician in Astoria
For more information about hypothyroidism or any other conditions we treat, contact us today and schedule an appointment. Our offices are located in Astoria, and we can be reached at (718) 204-7550. We look forward to hearing from you.