WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Hypothyroidism is a condition that develops when the thyroid gland makes little or no thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones help control body temperature, heart rate, growth, and how you gain or lose 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.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
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 for a period of time. 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.
This is also called an ECG or EKG. Sticky pads placed on your skin record your heart's electrical activity.
- Heart medicine: This medicine is given to strengthen or regulate your heartbeat. It also may help your heart in other ways. Talk with your caregiver to find out what your heart medicine is and why you are taking it.
- Thyroid hormone: This medicine will help bring your thyroid hormone level back to normal.
- Blood tests: You may need blood tests to check your thyroid hormone level. These will help your caregiver know what treatment is best for you.
- Thyroid scan: This test shows caregivers how well your thyroid is working. Radioactive dye is put into your IV or is given to you to drink. The working part of the thyroid gland absorbs (soaks up) the dye. Two to 48 hours later, caregivers put a machine called a scintillator over your neck. The machine takes pictures showing the areas of your thyroid that absorbed the dye.
- Thyroid ultrasound: This is a test that looks at the inside of your thyroid gland. Sound waves are used to show pictures of your thyroid gland on a TV-like screen.
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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.