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You have hypothyroidism, which means that your body is not making enough thyroid hormone. This hormone helps your body use energy. If your thyroid level is low, you may feel tired, be constipated, have an increase in your blood pressure, or have dry skin or memory problems. You may also get cold easily, even when it is warm. Women with low thyroid levels may have heavy menstrual periods.
A blood test to find your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level is used to check for hypothyroidism. A high TSH level may mean that you have low thyroid. When your body is not making enough thyroid hormone, TSH levels rise in an effort to make the body produce more.
The treatment for hypothyroidism is to take thyroid hormone pills. You should start to feel better in 1 to 2 weeks. But it can take several months to see changes in the TSH level. You will need regular visits with your doctor to make sure you have the right dose of medicine.
Most people need treatment for the rest of their lives. You will need to see your doctor regularly to have blood tests and to make sure you are doing well.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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