Endocrine disorders

Hypothyroidism

About Hypothyroidism

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, just above your collarbone. It is one of your endocrine glands, which make hormones. Thyroid hormones control the rate of many activities in your body. These include how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. All of these activities are your body's metabolism. If your thyroid gland is not active enough, it does not make enough thyroid hormone to meet your body's needs. This condition is hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is more common in women, people with other thyroid problems, and those over 60 years old. Hashimoto's disease, an autoimmune disorder, is the most common cause. Other causes include thyroid nodules, thyroiditis, congenital hypothyroidism, surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid, radiation treatment of the thyroid, and some medicines.

The symptoms can vary from person to person. They may include

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • A puffy face
  • Cold intolerance
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Dry, thinning hair
  • Decreased sweating
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods and fertility problems
  • Depression
  • Slowed heart rate

To diagnose hypothyroidism, your doctor will look at your symptoms and blood tests. Treatment is with synthetic thyroid hormone, taken every day.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • A puffy face
  • Cold intolerance
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Dry, thinning hair
  • Decreased sweating
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods and fertility problems
  • Depression
  • Slowed heart rate

Top Medications for Hypothyroidism according to our users

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All Medications for Hypothyroidism

Thyroid supplement

  • Armour thyroid
    (Thyroid hormone)
    Prescription only

    Armour Thyroid (Thyroid Hormone) can be used to treat low thyroid hormone, but it's not recommended by most doctors and isn't available in generic.

    Was it worth it?
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Cytomel
    (Liothyronine)
    Prescription only

    Cytomel (Liothyronine) is good for treating low thyroid, but you may need frequent blood tests and you should take it exactly as told by your doctor and pharmacist.

    Was it worth it?
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Synthroid
    (Levothyroxine)
    Prescription only

    Synthroid (Levothyroxine) is an important replacement hormone when your body can't make enough thyroid hormone. It's easily affected by food, other medicines or supplements, and health conditions, so you should try to take it exactly as instructed.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for Hypothyroidism

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • Keep adjusting your medication until you get the right dose. It's annoying to keep doing blood tests but it's worth it
What’s your best coping strategy?

No tips yet for this condition, leave a tip!

Besides medications, what else has worked for you?
  • While waiting to get up to the final dose, I was dealing with heart palpitations and tiredness. I found if I got 20 minutes of moderately intense cardio exercise, a few times a week, those symptoms decreased dramatically.
  • Eltroxin