First Valley Medical Group
Internal Medicine located in California City, CA & Lancaster, CA
Hypothyroidism affects around 20 million Americans. Women are 5-8 times more likely to develop the condition. An abnormal thyroid affects critical bodily functions and most thyroid-related diseases are lifelong conditions. Although it's not always preventable, hypothyroidism can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes. Kanagaratnam Sivalingam, MD, and his team at First Valley Medical Group in Lancaster, California, provide blood testing to diagnose your condition and can help manage your symptoms. To learn more, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to book your appointment.
Hypothyroidism Q & A
What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid gland that doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone to meet your body’s needs. The thyroid hormone keeps your body running normally and is used to regulate your metabolic rate, heart function, brain development, muscle control, and much more.
An untreated thyroid issue can cause a number of other health problems like obesity, infertility, joint pain, heart disease, and more.
What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?
Since the thyroid hormone is used to regulate so many organ systems, hypothyroidism causes a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Extreme weight gain
- Joint and muscle pain
- Dry skin
- Brittle hair and nails
- Decreased sweating
- Loss of libido
- High Cholesterol
Hypothyroidism develops slowly and symptoms vary a lot between patients. Many of the symptoms are shared with other diseases and are so general that they’re often ignored for years.
If your hypothyroidism progresses to an advanced stage, the health complications will be serious and can lead to premature death. Some of the major organ systems affected by hypothyroidism are your:
Hypothyroidism can slow your pulse and weaken your heartbeat.
Low levels of thyroid hormones can affect your kidney function, which affects your body’s ability to get rid of water and absorb salt.
Hypothyroidism can cause muscle weakness and nerve damage.
Abnormal thyroid levels affect the production of sex hormones, which control the production of sperm and eggs, and affect fertility. The disease can also increase your risk of miscarriage and other birth complications.
If you notice any troubling signs, it’s important to get tested at your yearly physicals regardless of your age.
How do you treat hypothyroidism?
Dr. Sivalingam diagnoses your condition using blood tests that measure the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone and the hormone thyroxine in your blood. Low levels of these can indicate an underactive thyroid.
If you’re diagnosed with hypothyroidism, Dr. Sivalingam can prescribe synthetic thyroid hormone in the form of an oral medication, which works to restore normal thyroid levels and reverse the symptoms of hypothyroidism. As your condition improves, he adjusts your dosage based on the results of yearly blood tests.
Dr. Sivalingam can also suggest dietary changes to include more fermented foods and foods rich in iodine and zinc to improve your thyroid function.
To get tested for hypothyroidism and to learn more about the various treatments, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment today.