Thyroid Hormone Problems


Hypothyroidism - the underactive gland

In this condition the thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone. This condition is extremely common and affects women around ten times more often than men.

What are the causes of an underactive thyroid gland?

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What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?

Thyroid hormones essentially control your metabolism. Too little thyroid hormone slows you down. This can make you feel lethargic and cause you to gain weight. Your hair may become thin . Your heart rate may become slow as may your movements and your reactions.

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How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?

Your doctor will usually order a simple blood test called a Thyroid Function Test (TFT); they may also recommend measurement of thyroid autoantibody levels to see what may be causing the hypothyroidism. In hypothyroidism the tests would be expected to show

Is there any treatment for hypothyroidism?

The treatment is usually straightforward. The most common treatment for hypothyroidism is Thyroxine (a synthetic T4 or thyroid hormone). It is given once daily as a tablet and the dose adjusted using the TSH level in the bloodstream as a guide.

Tips for Taking Thyroxine (Oroxine)

Often patients and doctors struggle to find the right dose of thyroxine for a particular patient. Sometimes this is because the patient is taking the right dose in the wrong way. Following these simple instructions should help to stabilise your thyroid hormone levels:

So the best advice is to take your thyroxine when you wake up in the morning and don’t eat or drink anything except water for 30 minutes afterwards.