Tips for Dealing with Hypothyroidism
The most common type of thyroid disorder, hypothyroidism occurs when the body struggles to produce enough of certain key hormones. While it can be difficult to manage, hyperthyroidism doesn't have to make your life miserable. If you've been diagnosed with this frustrating disorder, learn the most effective hyperthyroidism treatment and management strategies.
A Common Problem
Thyroid diseases are quite common, especially in women; in fact, one in eight women will develop a thyroid disorder at some point in her life. Hypothyroidism upsets the natural balance of chemical reactions within the body. Early on, a person may experience little to no symptoms. Over time, however, he or she may develop joint pain, obesity, fatigue and heart disease.
Fortunately, modern synthetic thyroid hormones can safely improve symptoms once your physician determines the appropriate dose for your particular situation.
Improving Your Chances for Success
Some people have difficulty managing their hypothyroidism due to incorrect medications dosages or inappropriate lifestyle habits. To better manage your symptoms, be sure to do the following:
- Take your medicine: Although hypothyroidism is incurable, lab-made hormones can improve symptoms. Be sure to take your medication as directed. You should also see your doctor regularly to make sure your dosage is correct, especially if you just recently began taking thyroid medication.
- Exercise: Once your thyroid levels are regulated, exercise can help boost energy, shed weight and improve the way you feel. For some people, a brisk walk may seem taxing. For others, a two- or three-mile run may feel appropriate. Let your body be your guide and establish a regular fitness routine involving some form of cardiovascular exercise.
- Be careful with supplements: Iron and calcium supplements bind to lab-made hormones, which can prevent your body from absorbing them. If you take supplements, be sure to consume them hours before or after you take your thyroid medicine.
Taking to Your Doctor
Because every person's body is different, thyroid treatment plans can vary. To better understand your individual needs, be sure to ask your doctor the following questions:
- How frequently should my thyroid hormone be checked?
- Should I avoid specific supplements or foods?
- Can natural treatments such as iodine improve my symptoms?
- How will changes in my health impact my medication?
- Can I take an all-natural hormone?
Because it is an incurable, life-long disorder, hypothyroidism requires a focused, long-term treatment strategy. It is not uncommon for people to develop the need for new medications and/or new dosage requirements as they age. To help keep problems at bay, regularly visit your doctor and maintain a healthy lifestyle centered on diet and exercise.