The conventional course for how to treat hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid follows taking daily dosages of levothyroxine, a hormone replacement for the thyroxin hormone which hypothyroidism have a deficiency. Levothyroxine is prescribed for patients showing severe symptoms and in most cases, the treatment yields relief for these symptoms within a week. The medicine is administered orally, as tablets. Physicians recommend taking the medication at the same time, morning or night every day. Forgetting to take a dose is expected, and for such a scenario, physicians advise on a specific grace period, extending to only a few hours, within which one may take that missed dosage. Otherwise, it is advisable to skip that day’s dosage. It is important to stick to the strict directions given by the doctor for maximum efficacy of the treatment.
Doctors usually start their patients on a low dosage, while monitoring hormone levels and gradually build towards an appropriate dosage. This is particularly important since too little or too much of the medication can in some cases has side effects such as sweating, insomnia, change in appetite, diarrhea, and episodes of tremors, among others. Levothyroxine tablets are known to interact with other medications and their effectiveness significantly reduced by foods and other elements. It is for this reason that the tablets should be taken on an empty stomach. Additionally, doctors advise against consuming any food for at least 30 minutes after swallowing the medicine.
Practitioners of alternative medicine recommend a different approach to hypothyroidism treatment that includes lifestyle changes and nutrition. The approach seeks to address the root factors that promote this thyroid dysfunction as opposed to merely treating the symptoms. A diet rich in vitamin B and dietary sources of iodine such as ocean fish come highly recommended. Alongside these dietary changes, daily physical exercises are an important addition to healthy living routine. To check stress, which is a primary underlying factor in hypothyroidism, the practitioners recommend yoga, deep breathing techniques and other relaxation methods. It is advised that on should seek to pinpoint the sources of stress and work towards resolving them.
Hypothyroidism has also been treated using traditional Chinese medicine. The effect of TCM on the body’s immune response cannot be understated, and its positive effects include triggering an early intervention by antibodies before the condition advances and the symptoms begin to show. Another alternative treatment course used is acupuncture, which promotes a flow of energy in the body system that flushes out toxins and promotes good health and wellness. Additionally, there are many options available in natural remedies, but the effectiveness of the treatment only generally extends to providing short-lived relief for the symptoms and associated complications of hypothyroidism.
Using levothyroxine has been proven as the most effective and reliable method when it comes to how to treat hypothyroidism. That said, it could be used in combination with other alternatives. It is important that hypothyroidism is a medical condition that will last for a lifetime. As such, the hormone replacement therapy will therefore last for just as long. It is important that patients have their hormone levels checked on the regular, at least once every year for dose stabilization as well as progress monitoring.