Treatment for hypothyroidism
- (1) Oral medication:
- Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid does not produce sufficient levels of hormones, requiring treatment. Patients with hypothyroidism take an appropriate oral dose of thyroid hormone replacement medication (trade name: Thyradin S) to return thyroid hormone levels to a normal range.
- (2) Necessity of treatment:
- Thyroid hormone replacement therapy is the standard treatment for hypothyroidism. In general, if patients have normal thyroid function, no treatment is required. However, it should be noted that under special conditions, such as pregnancy, oral medication may be deemed appropriate even if thyroid function is normal.
- (3) Precautions in treatment:
- Since a high initial dose may place a burden on the heart, patients who have heart disease, severe hypothyroidism, or are elderly should start treatment with a low dosage and increase the amount of medication gradually.
- Whereas patients with transient hypothyroidism may be able to gradually reduce their dosage, those with permanent hypothyroidism must continue to take an appropriate dosage indefinitely.
- If hypothyroidism is left untreated, decreased metabolism will lead to high blood cholesterol levels which may accelerate arteriosclerosis. Also, because an excessive oral dose may place a burden on the heart and bones, it is important to have regular examinations and take an appropriate dosage of thyroid hormone replacement medication.
Treatment for thyroid enlargement
Generally, no treatment is required for thyroid enlargement due to Hashimoto’s disease. However, if the thyroid swells to a very large size and hardens, it may interfere with daily life. For example, an excessively large thyroid can cause severe difficulties in swallowing or an inability to bend forward due to a feeling of pressure in the neck. In these situations, surgery to remove the goiter may be considered.