By Janice Graham
As you hit one of those big birthdays, you probably worry more about new
wrinkles than about less visible body parts — like your heart. But recent
research has found that each decade of your life is a crossroads, with new
health concerns to worry about. What's more, you need to be aware of these
issues — because your doctor may not be. "Many physicians fail to recognize how
much a woman's risk factors for heart disease evolve over her lifetime," says
People who have hypothyroidism
need treatment with thyroid hormone medicine. Depending on the cause of their
hypothyroidism, they may need treatment for the rest of their lives.
Taking certain supplements, such as calcium or iron (or both), at the
same time as thyroid hormone medicine may reduce the amount of thyroid hormone
medicine absorbed by the body. Take calcium supplements at least 4 hours before
or after taking thyroid hormone medicine. Also avoid
taking iron supplements at the same time as thyroid medicine.
to your doctor about whether you need to change your dose of thyroid medicine
if you also take birth control pills or other hormones. You may need to take
more thyroid hormone medicine than you would if you were not taking these
Follow-up visits with your
doctor are important to make sure that you are taking the correct dose of
medicine. Most people have blood tests 6 to 8 weeks after
starting treatment. After thyroid hormone levels return to normal, thyroid
function tests are typically rechecked once a year.