Hypothyroidism is a treatable medical condition that affects roughly 3 million Americans. However, affording treatment and medication for this condition can become very costly. Hypothyroidism is a chronic illness, meaning that it can last for years or even a lifetime in some patients. Sadly, most patients will have to manage this condition by taking medication for the rest of their lives. Medical professionals have not found a permanent cure for Hypothyroidism, so patients must rely on medication to sustain normal bodily functions.
What is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is sometimes confused with Hyperthyroidism, a disease characterized by an overactive thyroid gland. Nonetheless, the symptoms for these conditions are quite different, so they shouldn’t be confused with each other. Hypothyroidism is a serious condition which affects the thyroid gland located in the neck. The thyroid gland is supposed to secrete hormones that tend to affect metabolism, mood, mental health, and body growth. The thyroid gland can become underactive, causing the body to stop producing necessary hormones. Once this happens, these body processes begin to either slow down or stop functioning properly.
The most common cause of Hypothyroidism is a disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. This condition causes an autoimmune response that tells antibodies to attack the Thyroid gland. This response severely damages the thyroid gland and can induce it to stop functioning. Their is no way to stop this process once it begins, so Hypothyroidism typically develops.
What are the Short-Term and Long-Term Symptoms of Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is more common among women than men. The chance of this condition developing increases with age and more than 20% of women over the age of 65 develop hypothyroidism. Regardless, this disease can affect anyone of any age, so it’s important to look out for the signs. Individuals can experience a multitude of uncomfortable sensations due to their condition. When this disease first develops, these are some the first symptoms an individual can expect:
- Cold sensitivity
- Dry skin
- Muscle cramps
- Abnormal menstrual cycles for women
Although, because these symptoms can be brought on by other illnesses or disorders, the only way to know for sure is by having your blood drawn by a Doctor. A trained physician can test a person’s Thyroid-Stimulating Hormones, or TSH Levels and tell a patient whether or not they have Hypothyroidism. If a patient has elevated TSH levels, then it is very likely that they have an underactive thyroid condition. Sadly, if this condition goes untreated, the long-term effects can be very serious.
- Forgetfulness and memory loss
- Lack of motivation
- Unexplained weight gain
- Decreased libido
These symptoms vary from each patient in intensity and some may only experience some of these symptoms. For more information on studies concerning long term mental health symptoms caused by this disease, read this letter published by the Harvard Health Publications.
How is Hypothyroidism Treated?
Synthroid is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs among patients with Hypothyroidism. Synthroid is made of Levothyroxine Sodium, a man-made thyroid hormone that is a replacement for the hormones produced by the thyroid. This medication can only be prescribed by a physician after a patient has been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. This medication comes in the form of a pill and is to be taken by the patient daily. Synthroid is a narrow therapeutic index medication, which means that the dose prescribed by the doctor must be exact. If the doctor gives too low of a dose, the medication has no effect. If the dose is too high, the patient can experience dangerous and even life-threatening symptoms. As mentioned before, there is no cure for this disease, so patients can expect to take this pill for the rest of their lives. Thankfully, if taken in the right dosage, Levothyroxine Sodium is safe and effective treatment.
Patient Assistance for Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism can develop into a critical condition if it goes untreated. For patients who are suffering from this disease, The RX Helper may be able to assist you in finding affordable Levothyroxine Sodium tablets. Our organization is partnered with prescription assistance programs across the United States to help those who are either without insurance or underinsured. For a free consultation, please call us at 877-767-3297 or visit our website.