Hypothyroidism – An Under Active Thyroid and Quite Common
In healthy people, the thyroid makes just the right amounts of two hormones, T4 and T3, which regulate many aspects of our metabolism, eventually affecting how many calories we burn, how warm we feel, and how much we weigh, etc. These hormones also have direct effects on most organs, including the heart. All cells in the body will respond to decreases or increases in thyroid hormone with a corresponding change in the rate at which they function. Hypothyroidism is an under production of thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism is quite common. Approximately 10 million Americans have it, and millions of people are currently hypothyroid and don't know it.
Hypothyroidism May Exhibit Many (and Multiple) Symptoms
- Memory loss
- Hair loss
- Coarse, dry hair
- Dry, rough pale skin
- Decreased libido
- Extreme Intolerance to Cold Temperatures
- Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
- Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
- Abnormal menstrual cycles
Two Common Causes
There are two fairly common causes of hypothyroidism. The first is a result of inflammation of the thyroid gland, leaving a large percentage of the cells of the thyroid damaged or dead, and unable to produce sufficient hormones. A type of inflammatory hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease, also known as Hashimoto's disease.
The second major cause of hypothyroidism is "medical treatments." The treatment of many thyroid conditions requires removal of a portion (usually a nodule) or the entire thyroid. If the thyroid-producing cells left can’t meet your body’s needs, you will develop hypothyroidism.
A less frequent cause of hypothyroidism may arise when a completely "normal" thyroid gland fails to make enough hormones because of a problem in the pituitary gland. If the pituitary doesn’t produce enough thyroid stimulating hormones (TSH) then the thyroid simply does not have the "signal" to make the hormones.
There are several types of thyroid hormone preparations and one type of medicine will not be the best therapy for all patients. Many factors will go into the treatment of hypothyroidism and it is different for everybody. The most common treatment is administration of levothyroxine once a day. This medication is a pure synthetic form of T4, made in a laboratory to be an exact (bio-identical ) replacement for the T4 your thyroid gland normally secretes. It comes in multiple strengths, providing an appropriate dosage for many patients. However, sometimes, the correct dosage may need to be changed frequently, or be difficult to pin-point and some patients don't do well on some thyroid medications.
Compounding Solutions from Lynn’s La Vega Pharmacy
When the medications that are commercially available aren’t right for you, we can work with your doctor and prepare slow-release capsules of levothyroxine (T4) and liothyronine (T3) as well as Thyroid USP in any strength. And we can assist in monitoring the effectiveness of your therapy and adjust your medication as directed by your doctor, to assure optimal results.