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Hypothyroidism Treatment Overview

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Care Plan


First steps to consider

  • If you have symptoms of hypothyroidism, like fatigue, feeling cold all the time, constipation, and dry skin, see a healthcare provider.
  • Hypothyroidism is treated with thyroid hormone medications.
  • You can help some symptoms of hypothyroidism, like constipation, by eating more fiber, drinking water, and taking OTC bulking medications.
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Emergency Care

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Go to the ER or call 911 if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Low body temperature
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Confusion
  • Fever

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All treatments for hypothyroidism
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Read more about hypothyroidism care options

When to see a healthcare provider

See a healthcare provider if you develop symptoms of hypothyroidism. If you have hypothyroidism, which means you are not producing enough thyroid hormone, your provider will likely prescribe a hypothyroid medication called thyroid replacement hormone, which is taken daily.

Getting diagnosed

Your healthcare provider can diagnose hypothyroidism with blood tests, including a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and free T4 (free thyroxine level). The TSH is the best initial screening test for thyroid hormone deficiency. They may also check thyroid antibodies, like the thyroid peroxidase antibody, which could detect autoimmune causes of hypothyroidism.

They may request an ultrasound of the thyroid, which is the best test for checking the size and structure of the thyroid.

What to expect from your visit

  • Your healthcare provider will discuss your symptoms and overall health history.
  • They will feel your thyroid to check its size and to look for nodules and tenderness.
  • If they think there is a problem with the thyroid, they will order blood tests and possibly an ultrasound.
  • If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, you will probably be prescribed thyroid hormone replacement called levothyroxine (thyroxine hormone “T4” replacement). Your body tissues can convert T4 to T3 (triiodothyronine), the active form of thyroid hormone.

Prescription hypothyroidism medications

  • Levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Tirosint, Unithroid)

Types of providers

  • A primary care provider can diagnose and treat hypothyroidism.
  • An endocrinologist is a hormone specialist. They can diagnose and treat hypothyroidism.
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