The thyroid hormone is produced by the thyroid gland. This butterfly-shaped endocrine gland releases it into the blood, where it helps the body use energy. It also helps the heart, muscles, and brain function well. A low level of thyroid hormone can cause various conditions. Symptoms of thyroid problems vary depending on the severity of the condition.
In the United States, all newborns are tested for thyroid hormone deficiency, and all adults should have their thyroid levels checked at least once. Ultimately, treatment aims to return the blood levels of thyroid hormone to normal and help patients manage symptoms. A doctor will likely order additional tests, including imaging tests, if necessary.
Hypothyroidism is a life-threatening condition caused by low levels of thyroid hormone. If the level falls too low, the patient can lose consciousness and fall into a coma. The body temperature may drop, which can lead to death. The best way to avoid this condition is to increase your iodine intake.
If you are considering thyroid hormone therapy, make sure to discuss the risks and side effects of the treatment before you begin. Certain illnesses and infections can cause severe hypothyroidism. Also, certain medicines may trigger a hypothyroid crisis.