I was diagnosed hypothyoid more than 10 years ago. I wish I knew then what I know now. I think I would have began by trying to give my thyroid the boost it needed and heal it naturally with iodine and other vitamins and minerals. There is a lot of information out there about healing it naturally. Once on meds, your thyroid begins to get even more sluggish and depend on the meds and over time there is no turning back and you end up on meds the rest of your life.
If you do have to go on meds, my best advice it to not get on synthroid (or similiar meds) as they are synthetic.
Armour Thyroid is a naturally derived medication to treat hypothyroidism and you get it by prescription. From everything I have read, it is much better than the synthetic meds because it contains both T-3 and T-4.Synthroid does not contain both, Synthroid has to convert to T3 from T4 and for some people it does not properly convert. You can do a search on the web, there is a ton of research out there.
The below information I took from www.mercola.com.
It is great information to help you understand your diagnosis.
New Range for TSH to Diagnose Hypothyroidism
The basic problem that traditional medicine has with diagnosing hypothyroidism is the so-called "normal range" of TSH is far too high: Many patients with TSH's of greater than 2.0 (not 4.5) have classic symptoms and signs of hypothyroidism (see below).
So, if your TSH is above 2.0 there is a strong chance your thyroid gland is not working properly.
Free Thyroid Hormone Levels
One can also use the Free T3 and Free T4 and TSH levels to help one identify how well the thyroid gland is working. Free T3 and Free T4 levels are the only accurate measure of the actual active thyroid hormone levels in the blood.
When one uses free hormone levels one will find that it is relatively common to find the Free T4 and Free T3 hormone levels below normal when TSH is in its normal range, even in the low end of its normal range. When patients with these lab values are treated, one typically finds tremendous improvement in the patient, and a reduction of the classic hypothyroid symptoms.
Secondary or Tertiary Hypothyroidism
There are a significant number of individuals who have a TSH even below the new 1.5 reference range mentioned above, but their Free T3 (and possibly the Free T4 as well) will be below normal. These are cases of secondary or tertiary hypothyroidism, so, TSH alone is not an accurate test of all forms of hypothyroidism, only primary hypothyroidism.
Symptoms of Low Thyroid
The most common is fatigue.
Skin can become dry, cold, rough and scaly.
Hair becomes coarse, brittle and grows slowly or may fall out excessively.
Sensitivity to cold with feelings of being chilly in rooms of normal temperature.
Difficult for a person to sweat and their perspiration may be decreased or even absent even during heavy exercise and hot weather.
Constipation that is resistant to magnesium supplementation and other mild laxatives is also another common symptom.
Difficulty in losing weight despite rigid adherence to a low grain diet seems to be a common finding especially in women.
Depression and muscle weakness are other common symptoms.
Treatment of Hypothyroidism
You can click here for an article on how you can treat your thyroid problem with natural hormone therapy.
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If you are interested in a more comprehensive articles directed towards health care professionals click here. Also available is an excellent text book article on thyroid testing for those with more technical interests.
Living Well With Hypothyroidism
Mary Shomon is the www.about.com thyroid expert. Her $11 352 page book published in March of 2000 is one of the most cost effective and valuable resources that you could own on this subject. If you have thyroid disease this book should be in your library.