Hypothyroidism is usually quite a simple disease to treat. The easiest and most effective treatment is taking a thyroid hormone pill (such as levothyroxine) once a day, preferably in the morning. This medication mimics the hormone released by your thyroid gland. It comes in multiple strengths, which means that an appropriate dosage will have to be prescribed. If you are on this medication, the levels should be checked at least once a year.
Sometimes the correct dosage is a bit difficult to pinpoint and, as a result, you may need blood tests more frequently. Also, some patients just don't do well on some thyroid medications but will feel better with other options.
IT IS ALWAYS IMPORTANT THAT YOU DISCUSS YOUR SYMPTOMS AND HOW YOU FEEL AT ANY GIVEN TIME WITH YOUR DOCTOR, SO HE/SHE CAN DETERMINE WHETHER THE MEDICATION IS WORKING.
The goal is to make you feel better, help your body to function better and to slow down the risk of complications by making your blood levels normal.
Sometimes medication works well, and you may feel better, but sometimes it is not that straightforward. You will need to work with your doctor to determine the correct dosage for you or to consider other medication types.
There could be times when you will notice small changes in your symptoms within 1-2 weeks. The thyroid hormone, however, usually takes its full effect in a month or two. Be patient and continue taking your medication as prescribed. Give it some time to work.
After about one month of being on the treatment, the amount of thyroid hormone should be measured in the blood to establish whether the dose of thyroid hormone taken, is appropriate.
It is a delicate balance. Too much medication can cause subtle symptoms of hyperthyroidism, and too little will not alleviate your symptoms. Treatment for hypothyroidism will typically be required on a life-long basis. Therefore, it is of great importance that you do not stop taking your medication, unless instructed by your doctor.
Written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window
Reference: Secretariat, W.H.O., et al., Prevention and control of iodine deficiency in pregnant and lactating women and in children less than 2-years-old: conclusions and recommendations of the Technical Consultation. Public Health Nutr, 2007. 10(12A): p. 1606-11.