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What does the thyroid do?
Your thyroid controls your body’s metabolic rate
The hormones your thyroid produces affect your heart rate, respiratory rate, the rate at which you burn calories, skin maintenance, growth, heat production, fertility and digestion.
What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism refers to an underactive thyroid gland
A gland in your brain releases thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which signals the thyroid to produce hormones (T3 and T4). When the thyroid is not able to produce enough thyroid hormones to keep your body functioning properly, more TSH is released.
In most cases of hypothyroidism, there are high levels of TSH and low levels of T4. These levels may change throughout life so they should be monitored regularly.
There are many symptoms
of hypothyroidism.
You may have one or more.
Thyroid diseases run in families
Fatigue
Dry skin
Feeling cold
Weight gain
Coarse hair / hair loss
Muscle aches
Depression
Difficulty concentrating
Brittle nails
Constipation
Hoarse voice
Puffiness of face / around eyes
Heavy periods
Infertility
How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?
Hypothyroidism can be diagnosed with a simple blood test called a TSH test.
This test measures the amount of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone in your blood. When you suffer from hypothyroidism, your TSH will be high because your body can’t make enough of the thyroid hormones called T3 and T4. When your pituitary gland gets the signal that your body needs more thyroid hormones, it overproduces TSH in an attempt to stimulate your thyroid to release thyroid hormones.
Sometimes it’s necessary to test the amount of T4 in your blood and check for thyroid autoantibodies to confirm a diagnosis. If the thyroid appears to have an abnormal shape, a thyroid scan or ultrasound may be performed.
Hypothyroidism can lead to serious consequences if not treated. If you’re concerned
about your thyroid, take note of the symptoms you’re experiencing and discuss them
with your doctor.

Track your
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     Reference: Hypothyroidism:  Understanding the disease and its symptoms. Available at www.thyroidsymptoms.ca. Accessed November 2016.

Synthroid® (levothyroxine sodium, USP) 25mcg, 50mcg and 100mcg tablets. Prescription medicine used as a replacement or supplemental therapy in patients of any age or state (including pregnancy) with hypothyroidism, or as a pituitary TSH suppressant in the treatment or prevention of various types of euthyroid goiters. Do not use Synthroid® if you have an allergy to thyroid hormones or any of the ingredients in the tablet or have suffered a heart attack. Medicines have benefits and some may have risks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding. You should tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines including those you may have purchased from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop as these may affect the way Synthroid® works. Possible side effects are increased pulse & blood pressure, heart problems including heart failure, heart attack and angina, difficulty breathing and tiredness, headache, sleep disturbance, mood changes, diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach cramps, increased appetite, weight loss, fever, excessive sweating, hair loss, muscle tremor and weakness, menstrual irregularities, impaired fertility, seizures. Always read the label carefully and use strictly as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects, see your health professional. For further information, ask your health professional or view the Consumer Medicine Information at www.medsafe.govt.nz. Synthroid®; is a fully funded prescription medicine. Normal doctor’s fees and pharmacy charges apply. Ask your doctor if Synthroid®; is right for you. Synthroid®; is a registered trademark of Mylan Healthcare GmbH. Mylan NZ Ltd., Auckland. TAPS NA8758.

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