Tags: Thyroid Disorders | thyroid | hormone | replacement | therapy | benefits

Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy: Benefits and Drawbacks

By    |   Tuesday, 12 April 2016 05:34 PM

The purpose of thyroid hormone replacement is to mimic normal thyroid function as closely as possible.

Unlike most other medications, thyroid hormones simply replace what is missing naturally due to an underactive thyroid gland, or hypothyroidism, since these hormones are essential for the body’s metabolism and many other functions. The proper dosages need to be monitored closely by a physician to ensure there isn’t too much or too little thyroid hormone, says the American Thyroid Association.

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Restoring normal thyroid hormone levels has many benefits patients will notice quickly after starting therapy. According to WebMD, these benefits include a gradual weight loss if the patient had severe hypothyroidism, an increased level of energy, lower cholesterol levels, lower triglyceride levels, and improved mood and mental functioning. In addition, enlarged thyroid gland (goiter) is usually corrected with thyroid hormone replacement.

It is common for dosages of thyroid hormone to change frequently at the beginning of therapy while the right dosage is determined, says Endocrine Web. This therapy must continue for the rest of the patient’s life, and should be monitored annually and adjusted as necessary.

Most often, treatment begins on the conservative side in the beginning so the heart can adjust to the changing metabolism and so the replacement hormones don’t cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

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There are no drawbacks to thyroid hormone replacement unless the amount given is not appropriate, says the American Thyroid Association. However, if too much thyroid hormone is given, Endocrine Web says patients could notice the following symptoms:

• Feeling too hot and sweating
• Heart palpitations (rapid heart beat)
• Shaking or tremors
• Menstrual irregularities
• Difficulty sleeping
• Trouble with memory or mental focus
• Mood swings

These symptoms should trigger a discussion with a physician in case the hormone replacement dosage needs to be adjusted. In addition, some other medications and natural supplements can interfere with the body’s ability to properly absorb the hormones, so a physician may recommend taking the hormone replacement at a different time of day for optimal impact.

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The purpose of thyroid hormone replacement is to mimic normal thyroid function as closely as possible.
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Tuesday, 12 April 2016 05:34 PM
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