Skip to Content
Living with hypothyroidism? Explore treatment options >>



Hypothyroidism is a condition that develops when the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones help control body temperature, heart rate, growth, and weight.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


You may develop high cholesterol because your liver needs thyroid hormone to filter the cholesterol from your blood. Without treatment, hypothyroidism can become a life-threatening condition called myxedema. Myxedema can cause swelling in your legs, lungs, or around your heart.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.


You may need to rest in bed. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. Call your caregiver before you get up for the first time. Sit or lie down right away if you feel weak or dizzy.


  • Heart medicine is given to strengthen or regulate your heartbeat. Talk with your caregiver to find out what your heart medicine is and why you are taking it.

  • Thyroid replacement hormone is a medicine that will help bring your thyroid hormone level back to normal.


  • Blood tests will be needed to check your thyroid hormone level.

  • A thyroid scan is a test that shows caregivers how well your thyroid is working. Radioactive dye is put into your IV or is given to you to drink. The part of your thyroid gland that still works absorbs the dye. Two to 48 hours later, caregivers use a machine called a scintillator to take pictures of your thyroid.

  • An ultrasound uses sound waves to show pictures of your thyroid on a monitor.

  • An EKG test records your heart rhythm and how fast your heart beats.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Hypothyroidism (Inpatient Care)