Hypothyroidism Treatment and Refills
With Rise MyCare, we can help test your TSH and treat or refill your thyroid replacement medicines.
After a thorough medical evaluation from one of our Board Certified Medical Providers online, we’ll discuss your thyroid function, current symptoms, and if appropriate provide a refill of thyroid medicine.
We offer coupons and help you find the most cost-effective RX. These medications can get expensive and we do not like that.
- Roughly 4% of the U.S. population have hypothyroidism, although most cases are mild.
- Low or high thyroid hormones affect close to 20 million Americans with a large majority being women and elderly due to their higher risk of autoimmune disease.
- An estimated one woman in five aged 60 and older has some form of thyroid issues.
What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism, underactive thyroid or low thyroid, is condition where glands in your neck do produce enough thyroid hormones that help your body function normally.
The thyroid is a small gland in the neck near your vocal cords and larynx which regulates energy usage and metabolism throughout the body. The small gland impacts organ function all the way down to how our heat beats. When thyroid hormones are low or imbalanced, organs in the body begin to slow down.
What causes low or underactive thyroid levels?
- Hashimoto’s disease is the most common– this autoimmune disease causes your thyroid to attack your immune system. The disease makes white blood cells make antibodies.
- Thyroiditis, inflammation of the thyroid
- Congenital hypothyroidism, hypothyroidism that is present at birth
- Surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid
- Radiation treatment of the thyroid
Certain medicines affect thyroid function. Most of these medicines act at the level of the thyroid in patients with normal thyroid function, or at the level of thyroid hormone absorption or metabolism in patients requiring Levothyroxine sodium, which is a thyroid medicine that replaces the thyroxine hormone normally produced by your thyroid gland to regulate the body’s energy and metabolism.
Levothyroxine sodium is one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the world.
Getting enough iodine from food is important (Adults need 150 mcg per day), but may not be the underlaying cause of your thyroid issues. This is where a TSH test will show our providers determine the full picture. Reference
What are the hormones produced by the thyroid?
The thyroid converts two hormones from the iodine found in food. These two hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine, which is the main thyroid hormone in the blood) are regulated by thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
TSH secretes from the pituitary gland under the direction of the key regulatory part within the brain or the hypothalamus.
It’s important to get enough iodine rich foods like salt, seafood, bread, and milk but in some cases it’s not enough due to permanent or temporary hypothyroidism. A TSH blood test can determine what intervention is needed, if any.
- High TSH means you have an underactive thyroid or Hypothyroidism.
- Low TSH means you have an overactive thyroid or Hyperthyroidism.
Glad our bodies could make this nice and confusing for us. Hormones are complex.
Our goal from treatment is to lower your TSH to about the midpoint of the normal range and maintain it at that level. Once your dosage is dialed in, a TSH levels should be checked every 6 to 12 months.
Why Is Hypothyroidism Less Common in Men?
Men are roughly 80% less likely to experience hypothyroidism because autoimmune diseases are more common in women but the test processes and treatment is the same.
What are the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism?
An underactive thyroid gland can cause: extreme fatigue, weight gain, dry skin or hair, and abnormal chills due low energy.
Commons signs of underactive thyroid includes:
- Feeling cold
- High cholesterol levels. Low thyroid levels can lead to increased levels of total and LDL cholesterol.
- Low Sex Drive
- Trouble concentrating
- Sore muscles or joint pain
- Weight gain and appetite due to poor conversion of calories to energy
- Heavy or irregular menstrual periods and impaired fertility
- Slow heart rate
- Dry skin and brittle nails
- Swelling or enlargement of the thyroid gland, called goiter (GOI-tur)
Signs and Symptoms can be similar to low testosterone, so our provider may order a full blood panel to determine what is causing your symptoms. Reference
What is Levothyroxine sodium?
If you’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, our providers may prescribe levothyroxine sodium (or pure synthetic T4). This medication works exactly like your own body’s thyroid hormone.
Levothyroxine is the generic form of various brand names (Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, and Unithroid, Euthyrox, Levo-T)
All formulations contain the same active ingredient, T4.
If you are current on treatment with a specific brand, it’s important to tell our providers. If your hypothyroidism is permanent and you are taking daily pills, there are certain medication guidelines to help us tailor your treatment plans.
Some people cannot tolerant levothyroxine sodium, so our providers may have you consider a natural alternative (Armour Thyroid or Nature Throid) which is derived synthesized dry pig thyroid glands. This is not to dissuade you from using the nature alternative, these are facts.
Can levothyroxine sodium cure hypothyroidism?
Permanent hypothyroidism can be effectively treated, but there is not currently a cure.
Diagnosis of Hypothyroidism
We will examine your questionnaire answers and medical history to determine if a blood test for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is appropriate.
A TSH test is the most effective test for thyroid disease. If TSH is elevated, the test should be repeated to confirm the finding, and at the same time, the level of circulating “free” T4 should be checked.
Our goal is to get your TSH back to Normal level.
If your TSH level is between 0.4 and 5 per milliliter (mIU/L), your thyroid is functioning as it should. Our providers will evaluate other possibilities if symptoms are still bothersome.
If your TSH is elevated (above 5 mIU/L) and your free T4 level is normal, you may have mild borderline hypothyroidism. Our providers will evaluate treatment plans or alternative options if symptoms are still bothersome.
Primary hypothyroidism. If your TSH is elevated and your free T4 is low, you have an underactive thyroid and will require treatment – Our providers will consult and prescribe the right treatment plan either medication or guidance.
Possible Side Effects
Side effects may include irregular heart rhythms, insomnia, and loss of bone density.
Replacement with desiccated thyroid creates dosing problems because there is no way to standardize the exact amount of the dose for each batch. Thyroid hormones, including levothyroxine or nature alternatives, should not be used to treatment of obesity or weight loss.
Call your provider right away if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.