Hypothyroidism is a under active thyroid, meaning that your thyroid does not produce enough of the thyroid hormone. Your thyroid releases hormones that help control your metabolism. About 5% of the United States population has hypothyroidism, most of those being women. The chance of thyroid problems goes up with age, with 1 in 5 women over the age of 50 having a thyroid hormone deficiency. The good news is that with the proper medication Hypothyroidism is easy to control. You may not notice symptoms of Hypothyroidism right away. The symptoms do get more severe as time goes by and if not treated, leads to an enlarged thyroid (goiter). If Hypothyroidism is never treated it may become Myxedema, which can be life threatening. Some of the symptoms of Hypothyroidism are; rapid weight gain or inability to lose weight, fatigue, hair loss, insomnia, dry/brittle hair. Other people may have symptoms such as cold intolerance, irregular menstrual cycles, brittle nails, dry skin and tenderness of muscles or joints.
See your doctor if you are having any of these symptoms, and if he thinks thyroid imbalances cause it he will send you for a blood test to check your levels of THS and/or the level of the thyroid hormone thyroxin. First, he will send you for a TSH test, the normal range of that should be .3 to 3. If that test if out of the normal range he will send you for more tests. These tests are called Total T4 or Total Thyroxine, Free T4, or Free Thyroxine, Total T3, or Free T3.Â Once you are diagnosed, your doctor will put you on medication to control the thyroid production of the thyroid hormone. The most common of these medications are a type of levothyroxine, with the brand names of Levothroid, Synthroid and Levoxyl.