Who it affects
Hypothyroidism is a common disorder affecting 5% of the general population.

What gland is involved
The thyroid gland lies in the front part of the neck just under skin and below the thyroid cartilage (see picture above).

Patients with hypothyroidism may experience symptoms such as tiredness, lethargy, weight gain, constipation, dry skin and hair loss.

Hypothyroidism is diagnosed with blood tests including TSH, free T4 +/- free T3.

Treatment is with Levothyroxine tablets. The dose is usually titrated over many months whilst monitoring blood tests.

An under active thyroid is usually a lifelong disorder. Blood test are performed at intervals to ensure the correct dose of Levothyroxine is taken. Patients with hypothyroidism are entitled to free prescriptions in the NHS.

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