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Hypothyroidism - Topic Overview

Doctors usually prescribe pills to treat hypothyroidism. Most people start to feel better in a week or two. Your symptoms will probably go away within a few months. But you will likely need to keep taking the pills from now on.

It's important to take your medicine just the way your doctor tells you to. You will also need to see your doctor for follow-up visits to make sure you have the right dose. Getting too much or too little thyroid hormone can cause problems.

If you have mild hypothyroidism, you may not need treatment now. But you'll want to watch closely for signs that it is getting worse.

If you are diagnosed with severe hypothyroidism, you will need to be treated right away in the hospital. Severe hypothyroidism can lead to a rare but dangerous disease called myxedema coma.

It's important to watch for signs of the disease so it can be treated promptly. These signs may be easy to miss, so testing is a good idea for:

Learning about hypothyroidism:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

Living with hypothyroidism:

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 07, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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