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Hypothyroidism

AMBULATORY CARE:

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.

Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands

Common signs and symptoms include the following:

The signs and symptoms may develop slowly, sometimes over several years.

  • Exhaustion, depression, or irritability
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Muscle aches, headaches, weakness, or trouble concentrating
  • Dry, flaky skin, brittle nails, or thinning hair
  • Recent weight gain without overeating, or constipation
  • Heavy or irregular monthly periods
  • Puffiness around your eyes or swelling in your hands and feet
  • Low heart rate, changes in your blood pressure

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) or have someone call if:

  • You have sudden chest pain or shortness of breath.
  • You have a seizure.
  • You feel like you are going to faint.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have diarrhea, tremors, or trouble sleeping.
  • Your legs, ankles, or feet are swollen.

Call your doctor or endocrinologist if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
  • You have pain and swelling in your muscles and joints.
  • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or you have a rash.
  • Your signs and symptoms return or get worse, even after treatment.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment:

Thyroid hormone replacement medicine may bring your thyroid hormone level back to normal. You will need to take this medicine for the rest of your life to control hypothyroidism. It is important to take the medicine every day as directed. You will be given instructions for what to do if you miss a dose. Ask your healthcare provider for more information on other medicines you may need.

Manage hypothyroidism:

  • Get more iodine. The thyroid gland uses iodine to work correctly and to make thyroid hormones. Your healthcare provider may tell you to eat foods that are rich in iodine. He or she will tell you how much of these foods to eat. Milk and seafood are good sources of iodine. You may also need iodine supplements.
  • Keep track of your blood pressure and weight:
    • Check your blood pressure and write it down as often as directed. It is important to measure your blood pressure on the same arm and in the same position each time. Keep track of your blood pressure readings, along with the date and time you took them. Take this record with you to your followup visits.
      How to take a Blood Pressure
    • Weigh yourself daily before breakfast after you urinate. Weight gain may be a sign of extra fluid in your body. Keep track of your daily weights and take the record with you to your followup visits.
      Weight Checks THA

Follow up with your doctor or endocrinologist as directed:

You may need to return for more blood tests to check your thyroid hormone level. This will show if you are getting the right amount of thyroid medicine. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

Learn more about Hypothyroidism (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Medicine.com Guides (External)

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.