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How are low thyroid levels typically treated?

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Quick Answer

The standard treatment for low thyroid levels is the administration of synthetic thyroid hormones to correct the deficiency of natural thyroid hormones, according to Mayo Clinic. Typically, lifelong hormone replacement therapy is necessary, but with proper dosing, adequate hormone levels can be restored and hypothyroidism symptoms reversed.

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Full Answer

Daily use of levothyroxine, which is a synthetic thyroid hormone sold under the brand names Synthroid, Levothroid and others, is standard for treating hypothyroidism, advises Mayo Clinic. It generally causes a slight improvement in symptoms within two weeks of the commencement of treatment, with most hypothyroid sufferers report feeling less tired within a couple of weeks of beginning treatment. In addition to supplementing the thyroid hormones that are naturally produced by the body, use of thyroid medication may also reverse weight gain and reduce the elevated cholesterol levels that are caused by the condition.

It can take several months for the appropriate dosage of thyroid medication to be determined, notes Mayo Clinic. Because of this, blood levels are tested regularly to determine if the dosage prescribed is at the therapeutic level. Since lifelong treatment is generally required, levels are also tested at least annually going forward to ensure that the dosage prescribed remains adequate to keep thyroid hormone levels within an acceptable range.

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