Dosage For Special Populations
For people with heart disease:
- The recommended starting dosage is 12.525 mcg/day.
- Your dosage may be adjusted every 68 weeks.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Causes Of An Overactive Thyroid
There are several reasons why your thyroid can become overactive.
- Graves’ disease a condition where your immune system mistakenly attacks and damages the thyroid
- lumps on the thyroid this extra thyroid tissue can produce thyroid hormones, causing your levels to be too high
- some medicines such as amiodarone, which can be used to treat an irregular heartbeat
Find out more about the causes of an overactive thyroid.
Where Can I Find Support
Hyperthyroidism impacts you physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Its critical that you have a strong network of people you trust and can turn to for support.
It starts with your family. Since thyroid disease runs in families, being honest and open with your relatives is the best policy, as you might be alerting them to a problem they didnt even know to look out for.
To help you build your own support network outside of those closest to you, check out the Graves Disease & Thyroid Foundations community resources to find a support group near you. If you dont want to leave home, their online forum is another great resource for connecting and widening your net.
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Could Your Thyroid Cause Anxiety And Depression
If you experience anxiety or depression, your thyroid could be part of the cause. Place your hand gently on your throat and notice the feel of a tube . Now, close your eyes and picture a small butterfly perched across the front of the trachea. That’s your thyroid, an imperceptible yet powerful gland that plays a big role in your body’s functioning, including, possibly, anxiety and depression. While research studies thus far have found mixed results regarding the thyroid’s role in mental health, there is enough evidence linking thyroid functioning to anxiety and depressive disorders to consider your thyroid as a possible cause of anxiety or depression.
How the Thyroid Keeps Us Functioning
The thyroid plays an important role in our physical health, and more and more, it appears that the thyroid also impacts mental health, including anxiety and depression. The major tasks of this two-inch gland include regulating:
- Metabolism, which is the rate at which every cell in the body turns the nutrients from the food you eat into fuel
- Body temperature
- How deep your breathing is when you’re not trying to influence it
- Cholesterol levels
- Aspects of the menstrual cycle
As far as medical science knows, the thyroid doesn’t regulate our mood or how anxious we feel. Depression, anxiety, and the thyroid forge their connection when things start to go wrong with the thyroid.
Faq: Frequently Asked Questions
Is Graves disease the same as hyperthyroidism?
Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder that leads to and is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism, but theyre not the same thing. While all patients with Graves disease have hyperthyroidism, patients with hyperthyroidism may not necessarily have Graves disease .
In Graves disease, the body makes an antibody called thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin , which causes the thyroid gland to make too much thyroid hormone . Graves disease runs in families and is more commonly found in women.
Hypothyroidism vs Hyperthyroidism: Whats the difference?
The difference all comes down to the prefix in each word: hyper means over or exaggeration, while hypo means under or beneath. When it comes to -thyroidism, hyper- means an overactive thyroid gland, and hypo- means an underactive one.
Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland, can actually be caused by treatments for hyperthyroidism, since their whole purpose is to decrease thyroid gland activity. Those treatments, however, can tip the balance too far.
What should I eat to manage hyperthyroidism?
With hyperthyroidism, its more important to manage what you dont eat. High levels of iodine consumption can exacerbate hyperthyroidism, so its a good idea to watch your iodine intake. Look for ways to limit iodine in your diet by restricting your consumption of foods such as: fish, seaweed, shrimp, dairy products, and grain products .
Does hyperthyroidism go away on its own?
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How Can You Know If Your Anxiety Is Caused By Your Thyroid
Only a doctor can diagnose hypothyroidism. Iodine tests, T4 tests, and tests for thyroid stimulating hormone are the primary methods of diagnosis. You should never diagnose yourself. Many people have attributed their anxiety to thyroid hormone imbalances only to find out that their thyroid is functioning properly. It’s easier for many to believe that their severe anxiety symptoms are caused by a physical problem, not their mental health. Yet even if thyroid problems run in your family it’s still more likely that your anxiety is not caused by your thyroid, but by other factors in your life.
Thyroid disorders should also have other symptoms, since the thyroid plays a role in several other functions. A small sample of these symptoms includes:
- Cold intolerance
- Low heart rate
Additional symptoms may occur if the thyroid has been malfunctioning for a long period of time.
Ask any anxiety expert and they’ll tell you that even if it’s obvious you have anxiety, it’s never a bad idea to go to the doctor and get these issues checked out. While thyroid hormone dysfunction is not nearly as likely as simply suffering from anxiety, it’s still something that can occur, so testing it is advantageous.
Armour Thyroid: Do The Benefits Outweigh The Side Effects
If youre taking Armour Thyroid, it is necessary to track whether the therapeutic benefits associated with treatment outweigh the side effects. A subset of users will notice nothing but therapeutic benefits from Armour Thyroid without any noticeable side effects. Assuming youre reaping considerable benefits without debilitating or functionally-impairing side effects, continued treatment is a relatively easy decision.
Most users of Armour Thyroid will experience a combination of therapeutic benefits and mildly unpleasant side effects. Assuming you experience mild side effects such as appetite changes, upset stomach, and/or slight hair thinning yet your thyroid levels optimized by the treatment youll likely have no problem putting up with these reactions. Mild side effects are usually significantly outweighed the the Armour Thyroid treatment.
It may be more difficult to decide whether you should continue treatment if youre experiencing equally debilitating side effects as benefits. You may feel your energy level has improved and youre losing some weight, but you may also notice increases in anxiety, hair loss, and sleep disturbances. In this case, it may be worth talking to your doctor about adjunct strategies to reduce these side effects and/or testing other treatments.
Why You Need To Watch Out For Weight Changes
Your dose of thyroid hormone is based on your weight, although your doctor has to keep an eye on your blood levels because some people have problems with absorption.
Be sure to report a weight gain or loss of 10% or more to your doctor right away, advises Dr. Skugor. This will help you avoid overtreatment or undertreatment.
At the onset of menopause, its frequently necessary to decrease the thyroid dose to avoid overtreatment.
Yet even when youre on the right dose for your weight, you may be getting more thyroid hormone than your body needs. Overtreatment places you at risk of developing heart arrhythmias and osteoporosis, a low bone-mass disorder that leads to easy fracturing. One study even reported that overtreatment is associated with increased cardiovascular risk.
Its important to keep your doctor in the loop of any other changes like starting new medication or feeling your symptoms return or get worse.
Thyroid Hormone Replacement Drugs
Levothyroxine is a type of thyroid hormone replacement drug that is often used to treat hypothyroidism. Brand names for levothyroxine include Synthroid, Levoxyl, and Tirosint.
Natural dessicated thyroid is also used to treat hypothyroidism. For some people, NDTs work better than levothyroxine, and many people prefer them because they are more natural. Brand name NDTs include Armour and Nature-Throid.
Usually, people begin thyroid hormone therapy with a low dose that is gradually increased. In part, this is because hypothyroidism progresses over time. But starting therapy with a low dose is also helpful for reducing the risk of overmedication.
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The Effects Of Hypothyroidism And Hyperthyroidism On Memory
Feeling like you’re forgetting things more often, or your brain is in a fog? There are many causes of memory loss, and while some are related to Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, others are due to potentially reversible causes, one of which is a thyroid disorder.
Verywell / Hugo Lin
Common Thyroid Symptoms You Probably Arent Aware Of
The following symptoms are fairly common among those with thyroid disease even if theyre a surprise to you.
Other symptoms of thyroid disease include hoarseness, mood swings, fertility problems, peripheral neuropathy, constipation, poor temperature regulation, muscle weakness, eye pain and pressure, vertigo, depression, headaches, shortness of breath and wounds that heal slowly.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and havent been diagnosed with thyroid disease, we suggest contacting your Portland ENT specialist for an examination.
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Oral Vs Sublingual Delivery
With natural desiccated thyroid medications only, some people have argued that allowing the medication to dissolve under the tongue may result in faster absorption into the bloodstream. The counterargument is that these molecules are large and most will be absorbed through the intestine anyway, so taking the medication sublingually could result in irregular absorption.
The bottom line is that if you are considering taking your medication this way, talk to your doctor and make sure your thyroid levels are monitored.
You Have Joint And Muscle Aches/pains
General joint and muscle pains are common when hypothyroidism is not sufficiently treated, and your dosage of thyroid hormone needs to be increased. Joint and muscle weakness and pain, especially in the arms and legs, can be evidence that you need an increased dose of antithyroid drugs for your hyperthyroidism.
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Levothyroxine May Interact With Other Medications
Levothyroxine oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.
To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs youre taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else youre taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with levothyroxine are listed below.
Signs Of Overtreatment To Look Out For
Its important to be familiar with the signs of overtreatment for hypothyroidism. Symptoms of mild overtreatment include:
- Inability to sleep and/or focus.
- Abnormally increased heart rate, even at rest.
Two groups of people with hypothyroidism are at high risk of complications from overtreatment: those with heart rhythm disturbances and elderly people with weak bones. One study reports that hypothyroidism is more common in older women due to Hashimotos disease.
Whether youre young, old or in between, dont adjust the dose yourself if you think youre being overtreated, says Dr. Skugor. Call your doctor and explain your symptoms. They will check your blood levels of thyroid hormone. The correct dose adjustment will soon have you feeling a whole lot better.
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Connect With Your Loved Ones To Help Ward Off Loneliness
Depression can be an isolating experience. On top of that, the fatigue and sluggishness you already experience with hypothyroidism may make you feel not yourself, which can make the isolation worse.
Connecting with friends and loved ones can help ease the loneliness of depression while improving your mood. One study published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology found that depressive symptoms can make it more difficult to socialize, but you may also experience heightened cues of social rejection. This is why socializing with loved ones and others who share similar experiences as you is even more important. You can find hypothyroid support groups in your community through Meetup.
Causes Symptoms Diagnosis Treatments And Support
Endless energy, unexplained weight lossthe initial symptoms of an overactive thyroid are often seen as good symptoms. Thats why hyperthyroidism is one of the most underdiagnosed endocrine conditions. But if left unchecked, it can lead to serious complications. Were here to empower you with clear answers to all your hyperthyroid questions.
What is hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism is the abnormal function of your thyroid gland, an organ located in the front of your neck that releases hormones to regulate your bodys use of energy. In other words, if you have high thyroid levels, it means that your thyroid gland is overactive and makes more thyroid hormones than your body needs, which causes hyperthyroidism.
The hormones produced by your thyroid gland are thyroxine and triiodothyronine , and they play an important role in the way your entire body functions. For this reason, when there is an imbalance, such as high T4, it can have far-reaching effects on almost every aspect of your health.
Infographic by Lauren Hunter
- body temperature
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Is Thyroid Disease Behind Your Mood Swings
Thyroid disorders can affect how hot or cold you feel, cause your weight to fluctuate, and alter your mood. This gland plays such an important role in mental health that many people who have thyroid conditions tend to seek therapy for depression first because they do not suspect something is abnormal with their physical health.
When Things Go Wrong: Thyroid Anxiety And Depression
Like every other part of the human body, the thyroid can develop problems. Thyroid diseases include hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. In hypothyroidism, the gland becomes underactive, producing too little thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism is the opposite and involves the production of too much hormone.
Thyroid conditions aren’t rare. According to Harvard Medical School, approximately 13 million Americans live with a thyroid disorder.1 Associated anxiety and depression aren’t rare, either indeed, some studies have found that over 20 percent of people with hypothyroidism have depression and anywhere from 30 to over 60 percent have anxiety.2
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Thyroid Problems And Dementia Risk
Several researchers have questioned whether hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism increases the risk for dementia to develop. Research on this question includes the following:
In short, while the research doesn’t all agree, several studies indicate that major cognitive problems are not likely to develop with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. They also conclude that minor cognitive problems associated with thyroid functioning are often temporary.
Thus, if major cognitive decline is present, the physician should conduct a comprehensive assessment to determine what other medical conditions may be affecting your functioning.
Have You Ever Taken Too Much Synthroid
If youve ever taken too much synthroid, leave a comment detailing your experience. Share the symptoms you experienced, how much synthroid you took, and whether taking too much was accidental or intentional. If the dosing error was unintentional, did it result from misinterpreting in the dosing instructions as given by a doctor or your pharmacist?
For those who intentionally took a higher-than-prescribed dose of synthroid, share your motive for doing so. Document the most prominent symptoms you experienced as a result of ingesting excess levothyroxine. How long did it take you to get over these symptoms and did you discuss them with a medical professional?
What To Do When Youre Dizzy
Dizziness tends to come unannounced or suddenly. You may be working or doing something and suddenly start feeling unsteady and weak. As seen throughout this post, having a thyroid-related disorder can, indeed, contribute to dizziness. The question is what to do when this happens? You need to sit or lie down immediately to lower your chances of falling down, especially if you also have vertigo. In cases of vertigo, the most useful thing to do is to lie down in a dark, quiet place and close your eyes.
If you experience dizziness quite often, there are many ways to make these episodes more tolerable, lower their intensity, or even prevent them. These tips will help you handle lightheadedness in a more effective manner:
What Are The More Serious Complications Of Hyperthyroidism
People with advanced and extreme hyperthyroidism face a ramshackle of problems, some of them life-threatening. The good news, though, is many patients do not reach this level of severity. Complications can include:
- Graves ophthalmopathy or Thyroid Eye Disease , which may soon be treatable using a new drug called Teprotumumab
- Irregular heartbeat, which can lead to:
- blood clots
- other heart problems
Bottom line: The longer you have an overactive thyroid and go without treatment, the greater the risk of lifelong complications, even after treatment. As over 60 percent of people with thyroid disease go undiagnosed, its important to listen to your body before reversible symptoms like weight loss and insomnia become life-threatening issues such as irregular heartbeat , bone loss , and infertility .
Do One Thing Right Now
Relax! Slowing things down is keyeven if it feels counterintuitive with all the sped up effects of the condition. The GDATF recommends practicing yoga, Tai Chi, self-hypnosis, and meditation.