If you’ve been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, then you might have some questions related to this elusive hormone. Your thyroid is a small gland that rests in your neck.
And, the disorders associated with it are still somewhat of a mystery to medical practitioners and researchers.
What the medical community does know, however, is that an underactive thyroid can be treated with the synthetic hormone, Synthroid. It’s a once-daily dose depending on the severity of your condition that can significantly improve your health.
But, It’s important to understand why it’s being prescribed and what it does so that you know what to look out for.
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with a thyroid condition and you’re wondering how Synthroid can help you, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re discussing symptoms associated with the disorder and how it’s treated.
Keep reading to learn more.
Underactive Thyroid Symptoms
Your doctor will ask you questions related to your health before prescribing Synthroid.
You should be aware of the symptoms of underactive thyroid disorder so that you can discuss them with your doctor. It may be up to you to bring the symptoms forth so that your doctor can make a proper medical assessment.
If you’re noticing more fatigue than normal for your daily activities, you could have an underactive thyroid condition. This symptom alone does not necessarily indicate a problem so it’s important to be aware of other symptoms often associated with this disorder.
It’s a good idea to keep a sleep journal if you notice that you’re experiencing issues in order to pinpoint the problem.
Weight gain is often one of the first symptoms people will notice with an underactive thyroid. The reason behind this is that your thyroid regulates your metabolism. If it’s not functioning properly, then your metabolism is not working, no matter how well balanced your diet is.
Hair loss is another significant indicator of a thyroid problem. You may notice your hair falling out, thinning, or losing luster over a period of time. Before you spend money on specialty hair care products, contact your doctor for a medical examination.
If your skin has become dry and brittle, or you notice skin lesions for no reason, you might consider talking to your doctor about whether or not you have a thyroid condition.
Skin problems are related to your thyroid hormone. When your thyroid is not functioning properly, your skin is more sensitive and susceptible to damage.
Fingernails and toenails may become brittle and prone to chipping, peeling, and flaking with a thyroid imbalance. This symptom in conjunction with others listed here is a strong indicator that you should have your thyroid checked.
Although anxiety is a less common side effect of an underactive thyroid, it still happens to some people. If you’re noticing agitation, irritation, and/or unnecessary anger and anxiety, you should ask your doctor to check your thyroid levels.
This is a common side effect of the other symptoms listed here and could indicate that your thyroid levels are below normal.
Taking Synthroid for an Underactive Thyroid
Synthroid replaces or provides thyroid hormone to your body in the event that your thyroid is not producing it on its own.
This medication should be taken on an empty stomach at least thirty minutes before breakfast each day with plenty of water. The dose will be based on your age, weight and other medical conditions.
Don’t ever stop taking Synthroid without your doctor’s approval or your symptoms will gradually return.
Your doctor will only diagnose you with a thyroid condition based on symptoms and blood test results. A blood test must be performed in order to determine the proper dosage requirements for the medication. This blood test will indicate your TSH levels, which is the hormone that your thyroid should be producing on its own.
There are also other indicators within your bloodwork, such as your T3 and T4 levels, that determine the amount of hormone replacement therapy that you need.
Treatment for this disorder is quite simple. Take your medication as prescribed. It’s likely that you will take this medication for the rest of your life.
You should notice changes in your symptoms within one to two weeks after starting treatment. The medication will also gradually lower your cholesterol levels which can help to reverse weight gain.
Typically, there aren’t many severe side effects of this treatment medication but you should know what to watch out for.
Hair loss may occur in the first few months of treatment while your body adjusts to the medication. Otherwise, you could experience increased sweating, sensitivity to heat, diarrhea, headache, or bone pain. It’s important to tell your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects.
What to Avoid While Taking Synthroid
Ask your doctor about a medications list that should be avoided while you’re taking Synthroid. Some blood thinners and even over the counter medications like iron supplements can be dangerous when combined with this drug.
Nervousness or irritability are often signs of an overdose alongside headaches, tremors, leg cramps, shortness of breath and chest pain. Also, keep an eye out for increased or pounding heartbeats.
An underactive thyroid is not a serious condition if treated properly. If you’re prescribed Synthroid or any of its counterparts in generic form, it’s important to take it as directed by your doctor.
If you miss a dose, make sure to take it as soon as you remember as long as it’s not too close to your next scheduled dose.
Taking Synthroid every day will help regulate your hormones and metabolism which in turn can improve your overall health.
You’ll notice fuller, thicker hair, strong fingernails and toenails, and skin problems will start to subside after just a few months of use. Not to mention regulating your weight and anxiety.
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Save on Your Synthroid Medication
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