Standard treatment for hypothyroidism involves daily use of the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine (Levothroid, Synthroid, others). This oral medication restores adequate hormone levels, reversing the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Your doctor will decide how much to give you based on your age, health, thyroid hormone levels, and weight. If you're older, or you have heart disease, you'll probably start on a small dose. Your doctor will slowly raise the amount over time until you see an effect.
One to two weeks after starting treatment, you'll notice that you're feeling less fatigued. The medication also gradually lowers cholesterol levels elevated by the disease and may reverse any weight gain. Treatment with levothyroxine is usually lifelong, but because the dosage you need may change, your doctor is likely to check your TSH level every year.
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