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Thyroid: What You Need to Know: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

2023-02-03 06:50:54

Your thyroid is a gland in your neck that plays an important role in regulating your metabolism and other body functions. It produces hormones that help regulate your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, muscle strength, and many other processes in your body.


Common signs and symptoms of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) include:

• Fatigue

• Increased sensitivity to cold

• Constipation

• Dry skin

• Weight gain

• Puffy face

• Hoarseness

• Muscle weakness

• Elevated blood cholesterol level

• Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness, especially in your shoulders and hips

• Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints

• Heavier than normal menstrual periods

• Thinning hair


The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This happens when your immune system mistakenly attacks your thyroid gland and destroys some of its cells. Other causes include radiation therapy, certain medications, pituitary disorders, inherited disorders, and another autoimmune disease.


The most common treatment for hypothyroidism is thyroid hormone replacement therapy (levothyroxine). This hormone is identical to the hormone produced naturally by your thyroid gland. When taken orally, it replaces or provides more of the hormones that a person’s thyroid gland isn’t producing enough of.


Other treatments may include other medications, lifestyle changes, and dietary modifications. Your doctor will work with you to find the best treatment plan for your specific condition.

It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider if you think you may have a thyroid problem. With proper diagnosis and treatment, you can manage your condition and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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