Hypothyroidism, also know as an underactive thyroid or low thyroid is a common condition that affects many people across the nation. The thyroid performs useful services to the body by controlling your entire metabolism system. The thyroid is kicked into action when your pituitary gland sends out a hormone called TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone. In return, your thyroid sends out hormones T3 and T4 that work to control your metabolism.
When someone suffers from hypothyroidism, it means that their thyroid gland is under-functioning and isn’t producing enough hormones for the metabolism to properly work. Some times the problem is due to the thyroid itself, but may also mean that the thyroid simply isn’t receiving the hormones it needs to properly perform due to a faulty pituitary gland. It’s estimated that 12 million Americans go undiagnosed so be sure to know the hidden symptoms of thyroid problems.
Hypothyroidism is divided into three different types: primary, secondary, and tertiary.
While these all have similarities and mean that the body is not getting sufficient T3 an T4, each type is set apart from the others. Listed below are the three different types of hypothyroidism and how they are different:
- Primary Hypothyroidism – If you have been diagnosed with primary hypothyroidism, it means that your thyroid is receiving the right amount of TSH to stimulate it, but isn’t able to make enough of its own hormones to regulate body metabolism. If you have primary hypothyroidism, the thyroid itself is the problem.
- Secondary Hypothyroidism – When you have secondary hypothyroidism, your thyroid isn’t the one at fault; instead, the malfunction is due to the pituitary gland. In this type, the pituitary gland does not produce enough TSH to kick the thyroid into action.
- Tertiary Hypothyroidism – As with secondary hypothyroidism, if you have tertiary, it means that your pituitary gland is not functioning properly and is unable to do what is necessary to get the thyroid to work.
Treatment Options for an Underactive Thyroid
If you have any form of hypothyroidism, the best and only proven treatment option is to take thyroid medication. This medication will work by replacing the missing thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Once these hormones have been replaced, the body can once again function properly and metabolism will be stabilized.
Generally speaking, when you start to take medication for hypothyroidism, your doctor will start you on a very low dose and then increase it as needed. The purpose of medication is to return your hormone levels to a normal range.
If you have to take thyroid medication, you will never be cured of your condition and medication will be necessary for the rest of your life. The medicine you take is not an attempt to cure you of your problem, but rather a measure to keep your hormone levels in a normal range. If you decide to stop taking your medication, your levels will begin to drop and the symptoms of your condition will return.
When you’re taking thyroid medication, some other medicines and foods can interfere with it, changing its affects. Before you get started on thyroid medication, tell your doctor about all the other types of medication that you take, both prescription and over-the-counter.
Thyroid medication can also be influenced by vitamins and supplements. Supplements for iron and calcium are the most likely to interfere with your medication. Telling your doctor about these vitamins and supplements will give him or her opportunity to explain how these may impact your medication and will help you discover new ways to implement all your medication at once.
Sometimes, foods can also influence the effects of thyroid medication. To get the best results from your medication, you may need to cut back on foods that contain high-fiber or soy.
Here’s a comprehensive list of available Thyroid Medications along with links to most thyroid medication prices that will help you save up to 90% off U.S. retail prices.
Hypothyroid Medication List:
- Generic: levothyroxine Brands: Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Tirosint, Unithroid
- Generic: thyroid (pork) Brands: Armour Thyroid, Nature-Throid, NP Thyroid, Westhroid, WP Thyroid
- Generic: liothyronine Brand: Cytomel
- Generic: liotrix Brands: Thyrolar-1/2, Thyrolar-1/4, Thyrolar-1, Thyrolar-2, Thyrolar-3
- Generic: levothyroxine sodium Brand: Levo-T
- Triostat intravenous
- liothyronine intravenous
- Ievothyroxine intravenous
By taking the right kind of medication, it is possible to replace missing thyroid hormones and promote better over-all body function. Once your body is receiving T3 and T4, it will be possible for your metabolism to balance and your symptoms to be relieved.