Expected duration of Hypothyroidism

By  , Expert Content
Mar 19, 2012

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Hypothyroidism is a common condition, which affects the thyroid gland. The various causes of hypothyroidism include:

  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis (a condition in which the body’s immune system attack thyroid tissue because of which the gland can't make enough thyroid hormone),
  • Iodine deficiency (iodine is needed by the gland to make thyroid hormones). ab excess of iodine can cause or worsen hypothyroidism.
  • Surgical removal of thyroid gland.
  • Certain viral infections.
  • Radiation therapy to gland for cancer.
  • Some drugs such as lithium.

Currently, there are no medications that can cure hypothyroidism and make the thyroid gland start to work normally again. Medications can, however, control the symptoms completely in almost every patient.  Hence, most people with hypothyroidism need life-long medications except in some conditions in which the hormone synthesis may improve. Some people with hypothyroidism, who may not need lifelong treatment include:

  • Patients with viral thyroiditis as their thyroid gland function may return to normal after a few weeks to months.
  • Patients with thyroiditis after pregnancy.

Hypothyroidism may become more or less severe as the disease progresses. Your doctor will recommend periodic blood tests (TSH test and T4 test) to determine if you have enough thyroid hormone in your blood with a replacement medication. Based on the tests, the doctor will change the dose of your medication. You will have to take medications for lifetime.

If you take your pills every day as recommended and follow up regularly with your doctor to keep your thyroxine dose right, your symptoms will remain controlled throughout your life. If your hypothyroidism remains well-controlled, you will live a normal life span.



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