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Coordinated Health

thyroid exam

Could You Have an Underactive Thyroid?

By: Hannah Ropp   December 11, 2018
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Hypothyroidism is a fairly common condition and while it can affect anyone, women are most at risk. Coordinated Health endocrinologist Dr. Diep Nguyen explains that the condition occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. “This causes the physical and mental process to become sluggish,” says Dr. Nguyen. 

The thyroid gland is located in the front of your neck and produces a hormone that travels throughout your bloodstream and affects your metabolism, which is responsible for things like controlling your body’s temperature and weight. If your body isn’t making enough thyroid hormone, your metabolism slows down. 

Dr. Nguyen says the six most common symptoms include: 

  • Fatigue and sluggishness
  • Depression
  • Hair and skin changes
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Feeling cold
  • Weight gain

Fortunately, hypothyroidism can be treated. “The treatment is to supplement your body with thyroid hormone medication in a pill form. Levothyroxine is usually the drug of choice,” says Dr. Nguyen. 

In most cases hypothyroidism is not dangerous. However, Dr. Nguyen says that if hypothyroidism goes untreated it can lead to poor mental and physical performance. It also can cause high blood cholesterol levels that can lead to heart disease.

 

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Keywords

endocrinology, hypothyroidism