Common Thyroid Problems: Identifying the symptoms early on

Located in your neck in front of your windpipe is a small, butterfly shaped gland called the thyroid. The thyroid is part of the endocrine system and takes iodine from the foods you eat to produce two hormones called triiodothyronine (T3) thyroxine (T4). T3 and T4 is carried by your bloodstream and reaches every cell within your body, affecting how your body functions. When you produce too much or you don’t produce enough of the hormones, your body will be affected in several ways.

What is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland isn’t producing enough thyroid hormones for your body to function the way it’s supposed to.

At first, it’s unlikely you’ll know you have hypothyroidism because it won’t start to show symptoms until the condition becomes more advanced. Eventually, though, you will start to have noticeable underactive thyroid problems that could end up interfering with your quality of life. Some of the early warning signs of hypothyroidism include increased sensitivity to cold, a puffy face, and tiredness.

Other Symptoms of Hypothyroidism:
  • Swollen goitre in the neck
  • Tiredness
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Slower heart rate
  • Muscle weakness
  • High cholesterol
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Depression
  • Brain fog

Longer-Term Implications of Hypothyroidism
If hypothyroidism goes untreated, several serious complications can develop, some of which may end up being life-threatening. For instance, low levels of thyroid hormones increase your risk of heart disease because your cholesterol levels will increase.

Those with untreated hypothyroidism should seek treatment as soon as possible if they are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Having an underactive thyroid whilst pregnant can cause birth defects, premature birth, low birthweight, and miscarriage or stillbirth. The mother may also experience bleeding after giving birth or a serious condition called pre-eclampsia that causes dangerously high blood pressure.

In extremely rare cases, a consistently underactive thyroid that goes untreated can cause myxoedema coma. Myxoedema comas occur when the thyroid hormones drop so low the patient becomes extremely confused and tired. It needs emergency treatment right away to prevent it from becoming worse.

How is Hypothyroidism Treated?
If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, you will most likely be treated with a medication called levothyroxine. Levothyroxine tablets replace the thyroid hormones you are not producing enough of. Your dose will depend on the severity of your condition and you may need regular blood tests at first to make sure you are on the right dose. Once the right dose is found, it’s likely you’ll still need to get regular blood tests to monitor for any necessary medication adjustments.

Since hypothyroidism is a lifelong condition, you’ll probably have to take levothyroxine tablets for the rest of your life.

How Should I Take Levothyroxine?
Take your levothyroxine tablets around the same time everyday so it will be correctly dispersed throughout your body. Most people take it in the morning, but you should take it at a time that works for you. For the medication to be effective, you should take it on an empty stomach with a glass of water. Don’t eat, snack, or take any supplements for at least 30 minutes after you take levothyroxine.

Underactive thyroid treatment Levothyroxine tablets can be bought online in the UK from Pharmacy Planet. Getting your medications couldn’t be any simpler as we will have your treatments delivered swiftly and hassle-free right to your doorstep.