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Why Do I Have Hypothyroidism and Can It Be Treated?

Learning you have hypothyroidism can suddenly explain the variety of the symptoms you’ve been experiencing. It can explain why you’ve struggled with weight gain or why your hair is suddenly thinning.

While receiving a diagnosis can answer those questions, you might be left with more questions like “Why do I have hypothyroidism?” and “What can I do about it?”

As an experienced family medicine specialist, Samantha Lindsay, MD, of Family First Wellness is here to answer these questions about the causes and treatment of hypothyroidism.

What causes hypothyroidism? 

If you just learned that you have an underactive thyroid, your first question might be “Why?” Hypothyroidism is characterized by a thyroid (which is a gland) that doesn’t produce enough hormones. 

Your thyroid produces hormones that play a role in many different processes, from metabolism to temperature regulation. 

You might develop hypothyroidism if you have an underlying condition that causes your thyroid to underproduce thyroid hormones. 

Here are a few examples of conditions that can lead to an underactive thyroid:

Additionally, certain medications including lithium can affect your thyroid. In other words, any condition that affects your thyroid’s ability to produce enough hormone can cause an underactive thyroid.

Can hypothyroidism be treated?

Yes! Sometimes the symptoms of hypothyroidism can be mistaken as symptoms of other conditions. For example, common symptoms include weight gain, fatigue, dry skin, and depression. 

All of these symptoms aren’t isolated to just hypothyroidism, which is why getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step to feeling better. 

Once you have an official diagnosis, you can get started with treatment. Here at Family First Wellness, we can balance your thyroid hormones with synthetic thyroxine pills. Thyroid medications like thyroxine are easy to take. It’s just an oral medication that you take once a day.

In addition to taking your medication daily, you can further support your thyroid, and overall health, by making healthy lifestyle changes. This includes sleeping 7-9 hours per night, following a healthy, nutrient-dense diet, and practicing several stress management techniques.

Hypothyroidism can be treated, but not cured. Many people with hypothyroidism need to stay committed to their treatment plan for life. By taking your medication as directed and adopting these healthy lifestyle habits, you can expect to feel better once your hypothyroidism is managed.

How do you know if you need treatment?

Only a hormone test can determine if you have hypothyroidism, but if you have concerns about your symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out. Because your thyroid hormones affect many different bodily functions and processes, your symptoms may vary quite a bit. 

Common symptoms include:

If you notice some or all of these symptoms and they don’t ease with conservative treatment, your thyroid might be to blame. To get the answers you need, request an appointment by calling our Lutz, Florida, office or by visiting our website to book online.

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