Thyroid: Underactive: Introduction FeedbackA general introduction to Thyroid: Underactive.Source: NHS Choices, 02 Jul 2013
An underactive thyroid, also called hypothyroidism, means your thyroid gland does not produce enough chemicals called hormones.
Common signs of an underactive thyroid are tiredness, weight gain and feeling depressed.
An underactive thyroid is not usually serious. It can often be treated successfully by taking daily hormone tablets to replace the hormones your thyroid isn't making.
An underactive thyroid cannot be prevented. Most cases are caused either by your immune system attacking your thyroid or by damage to your thyroid that can occur during some treatments for thyroid cancer and an overactive thyroid.
Read more about the causes of underactive thyroid.
When to see your GP
Symptoms of an underactive thyroid are often confused for something else by patients and doctors and they develop slowly so you may not notice them for years.
You should see your GP and ask to be tested for an underactive thyroid if you have symptoms including:
- weight gain
- being sensitive to the cold
- dry skin and hair
- muscle aches
The only accurate way to find out if you have a thyroid problem is to have a blood test to measure your hormone levels.
Who is affected
Both men and women can have an underactive thyroid, although it's more common in women. In the UK, it affects 15 in every 1,000 women and 1 in 1,000 men. The condition can also develop in children.
Around 1 in 3,500-4,000 babies is born with an underactive thyroid (called congenital hypothyroidism). All babies born in the UK are screened for congenital hypothyroidism using a heel-prick blood test when the baby is about five days old.
Treating an underactive thyroid
Treatment for an underactive thyroid involves taking daily hormone-replacement tablets, called levothyroxine, to raise your thyroxine levels. You will usually need treatment for the rest of your life. However, with proper treatment you should be able to lead a normal, healthy life.
If it's not treated, an underactive thyroid can lead to complications, including heart disease, goitre (a lump in the throat caused by a swollen thyroid), pregnancy problems and a life-threatening condition called myxoedema coma (although this is very rare).
Thyroid: Underactive: Guidance FeedbackThe most relevant search results for Thyroid: Underactive from producers of guidance information.
Information for the public
Thyroid: Underactive: Information for the public FeedbackThe most relevant search results for Thyroid: Underactive, from Department of Health accredited producers of patient information.
- NHS Choices, 02 July 2013
- Patient UK
- Bupa , 14 November 2013
- Patient UK
- NHS Choices, 19 September 2012
- Medicines for Children
Thyroid: Underactive: Ongoing Research FeedbackThe most relevant search results for Thyroid: Underactive, from research trials.
Thyroid: Underactive: Evidence Uncertainty FeedbackThe most relevant search results for Thyroid: Underactive, highlighting areas where further research is needed.
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 12 May 2008
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 03 June 2013
Combined levothyroxine (L-T4) + liothyronine (L-T3) therapy for patients diagnosed with hypothyroidism.UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 12 February 2014
Radiotherapy to Head and Neck cancer patients and radiation-induced hypothyroidism : the dose / volume relationshipUK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 27 February 2012
- UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 28 May 2007
Thyroxine replacement for subfertile women with euthyroid autoimmune thyroid disease or subclinical hypothyroidismUK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments, 08 April 2014
- Results are currently sorted by relevance (Sort results by: date)
- Results 0 - 0 (of 0)
- Your search - Thyroid Underactive - did not match any documents with the applied search filters.
- repeat the search without filters
Searches related to “Thyroid: Underactive”
Medicines and devices
Start typing a Medicine or device name to narrow your search, or select one or more from the A-Z list
- Folic acid(2)
- Interferon alfa-2a(2)
- Isosorbide dinitrate(1)
- Isosorbide mononitrate(2)
- Lanthanum carbonate(1)
- Liquid paraffin(1)
- Nicotinic acid(1)
- Parathyroid hormone(2)
- Peginterferon alfa-2a(2)
- Peginterferon alfa-2b(1)
- Sodium valproate(1)
- Tranexamic acid(1)