Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy
What is thyroid hormone replacement therapy?
Why would a doctor recommend thyroid hormone replacement therapy?
What does thyroid hormone replacement therapy involve?
What are the side effects of thyroid hormone replacement therapy?
In thyroid hormone replacement therapy, a patient takes a synthetic form of thyroid hormones to raise low levels of these hormones. These low levels are caused by an underactive thyroid gland.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which a person's thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. thyroid hormone replacement therapy aims to correct hypothyroidism.
The treatment is also used to control the growth of a goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), or thyroid nodules.
Thyroid hormones are usually given in pill form. The most commonly prescribed thyroid hormone replacement is Thyroxine (T4), which is usually taken once a day, on an empty stomach. Brand names include Synthroid®, Levoxyl®, Unithroid®, and Levothroid®.
Your doctor will use blood tests to determine the proper dosage of the thyroid hormone replacement.
In most cases, thyroid hormone medication works quickly to correct the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Most patients with hypothyroidism need to take thyroid hormone replacement medication for life.
Most patients have no side effects if they follow their doctor's directions for taking the thyroid hormone medication.
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