A properly functioning thyroid is essential to a life full of energy. Hypothyroidism is a condition that causes many life-altering effects. San Marcos Family Medicine in San Marcos, Texas, offers testing and treatment for hypothyroidism in Central Texas, so patients can get a new lease on life even when their thyroids aren’t acting properly.
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Hypothyroidism Q & A
What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a small gland located in the neck that creates and manages hormones responsible for many biological functions, including metabolism.
What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a medical condition that occurs when a patient can’t make enough thyroid hormone. Around 10 million Americans, including 10% of the female population, may have some level of hypothyroidism.
What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is typically detected because of symptoms, which trigger medical testing. These symptoms include:
- Weight gain
- Difficulty losing weight
- Coarse, dry hair
- Dry skin
- Hair loss
- Extreme sensitivity to cold
- Muscle pain
- Memory loss
- Decreased libido
- Abnormal menstruation
Each patient’s symptoms will be unique, and that’s why thorough testing is critical for an accurate diagnosis. Patients experiencing a combination of these symptoms should visit San Marcos Family Medicine for thyroid testing.
What's the cause of hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is typically linked to Hashimoto’s disease, an immune system disorder that causes the immune system to attack the thyroid. Other potential causes include:
- Hyperthyroidism treatment
- Thyroid surgery
- Radiation therapy
- Medications that cause damage to the thyroid gland
Finding the underlying cause is the first step towards treatment for hypothyroidism.
How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?
Patients who come to San Marcos Family Medicine for hypothyroid symptoms will be screened based on their symptoms. Diagnosis is based on blood test measuring TSH and thyroid hormone levels. If the thyroid hormone level is low and the TSH level is high, the thyroid is underactive, and the patient may have hypothyroidism. More sensitive testing makes it possible to get a diagnosis earlier in the progression of the disease, which is critical to proper treatment.
How is hypothyroidism treated?
Synthetic thyroid hormone medication is the primary treatment for hypothyroidism. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time to find the right dosage and medication timing, so patients will need to follow up with the team at San Marcos Family Medicine for continued testing of their thyroid levels. Too much thyroid hormone can cause other problems, like insomnia, heart palpitations, increased appetite, and shakiness, so follow up testing is critical. To learn more about hypothyroidism and its treatments, schedule an appointment with San Marcos Family Medicine.