October is Hypothyroidism Month in Canada

There are many types of Thyroid Disease. To bring attention to the different disorders, we plan to feature a different Thyroid topic each month. For the month of October we are focusing on Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disorder and most other thyroid disorders usually result in Hypothyroidism.

CAUSES OF HYPOTHYROIDISM

  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis,an autoimmune disease that results in inflammation of the thyroid gland
  • Treatment of Graves’ hyperthyroidism
  • Congenital hypothyroidism, individuals born without a thyroid gland or a poorly functioning one
  • Surgical removal of the thyroid gland as a treatment for thyroid cancer or hyperthyroidism

DIAGNOSIS

  • Diagnosis of hypothyroidism is based on your symptoms and the results of blood tests that measure the level of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and sometimes the level of the thyroid hormone thyroxine. A low level of thyroxine and high level of TSH indicate an underactive thyroid.
  • If the TSH levels are elevated, you might also be tested for “free” thyroid hormones (called “free t4”) in the blood.

Read more about Hypothyroidism:

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

  • weak slow heart beat
  • muscular weakness and constant fatigue
  • sensitivity to cold
  • thick puffy skin and/or dry skin
  • slowed mental processes and poor memory
  • constipation
  • goitre (increased size of the thyroid)

TREATMENT

  • Levothyroxine is a synthetic manufactured form of the thyroid hormone thyroxine. Synthroid or Eltroxin are the two types of pills in Canada. The pills are taken daily to bring the thyroid hormone levels back to normal.
  • Desiccated thyroid, also known as thyroid extract, is animal thyroid gland that has been dried and powdered for medical use. In Canada the product is called “Thyroid”. It is generally less consistent than the synthetic medication.

Help us to Help Others

Awareness/Advocacy

  • Public education programs
  • Advocacy for improved thyroid care
  • Annual June is Thyroid Month activities

Patient Support

  • Toll free telephone Help line and email access for thyroid patients
  • Thyroid Health Guides and other educational material
  • Thyrobulletin newsletter
  • Thyroid.ca site with the latest news

Thyroid Research

  • Annual Research Awards program provides funding for projects carried out in Canadian thyroid laboratories.