Table of Contents
- 1 A Breakdown Of The Most Common Medications Used To Treat Thyroid Disorders, Including Tirosint
- 2 The Importance Of The Thyroid Gland
- 3 The Most Common Thyroid Disorders
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 References
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A Breakdown Of The Most Common Medications Used To Treat Thyroid Disorders, Including Tirosint
The thyroid is part of the endocrine system and plays several vital roles to assist with the maintenance of optimal organ function and metabolism, as well as to regulate certain functions in the human body.
Every cell in the human body depends on the hormones secreted by the Thyroid. When the Thyroid is healthy, it secretes and adequate amount of hormones, but when a disorder affects the Thyroid, its ability to produce hormones can be adversely affected.
In some people, the Thyroid produces too many hormones and in other people who suffer from a Thyroid disorder, their Thyroid gland is unable to produce enough hormones to regulate their metabolism and to assist with cellular function.
When diagnosed with a Thyroid disorder, treatment should be followed promptly in order to balance Thyroid hormones and to alleviate the symptoms caused by the Thyroid disorder.
Various treatment options are available to assist with the treatment of these conditions.
Treatment provided to a patient will depend on the type of Thyroid disorder they are suffering from, as well as additional factors, including how severe their Thyroid dysfunction is. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at Thyroid disorders and discuss the drugs that are currently being used to treat these conditions.
The Importance Of The Thyroid Gland
The primary purpose of the Thyroid gland is to assist with the regulation of metabolism in the human body.
Through the secretion of hormones often referred to as T3 and T4, the Thyroid Gland is able to assist the body in the process of breaking down food particular and converting these food particles into energy, as explained by EndocrineWeb1. The converted energy can then be utilized by cells throughout the body in order to perform their functions.
The Thyroid gland is stimulated by another part of the endocrine system, known as the pituitary gland. When more T3 or T3 Thyroid hormones are required by the body, Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone, also known as TSH, is released by the pituitary gland and then sent to the Thyroid gland, which then causes the Thyroid gland to produce and secrete more hormones into the bloodstream.
It should be noted that the Thyroid gland’s function also depends on iodine levels in the blood circulatory system, which is a substance that can be obtained through the consumption of certain foods, including milk, seafood, iodized table salt and bread, according to Thyroid Awareness2.
The Most Common Thyroid Disorders
Normally, the Thyroid gland is able to utilize iodine in the blood and respond to TSH secreted from the pituitary gland at an optimal level.
Unfortunately, there are some conditions that can affect these properties of the Thyroid gland. When this happens, the hormone-producing function of the Thyroid gland is affected adversely.
This leads to either an excessive amount of T3 and T4 hormones being secreted into a patient’s blood circulatory system, or a deficiency of these hormones in their blood.
Let’s take a closer look at the most common conditions that affect the Thyroid gland, what symptoms a patient need to be on the lookout for, and how these conditions are treated.
Hyperthyroidism is a term used to describe a condition where an excess amount of Thyroid hormones, including T3 and T4, are found in the bloodstream of a patient.
Hyperthyroidism is more prevalent amongst women than it is amongst men and, according to the Endocrine Society3, this condition affects between 0.1% and 0.5% of the global population.
The same report explains that a 6.3% yearly increase was observed in the prevalence of hyperthyroidism between the years 1994 and 2001.
Causes Of Hyperthyroidism
There are numerous potential causes of Hyperthyroidism.
According to Healthline4, an excessive amount of iodine in the bloodstream is one potential cause for this condition, which is a substance that the Thyroid gland’s cells utilize to produce T3 and T4 Thyroid hormones. Other possible causes include:
- Benign tumors that have developed in the pituitary gland or the Thyroid gland.
- An excessive amount of tetraiodothyronine in the bloodstream, which can be caused by taking certain types of medication and supplements.
- Inflammation that affects the Thyroid, also known as Thyroiditis.
- Graves’ disease
Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism
When there are too many T3 and T4 Thyroid hormones in the human body, then numerous unpleasant symptoms may develop.
It is important to seek medical attention when these particular symptoms develop, as they may be a sign of Hyperthyroidism or sometimes another health condition, since the symptoms associated with this condition are also present in many other diseases and disorders.
According to Mayo Clinic5, particular symptoms that patients should look out for include sudden weight loss, a rapid heartbeat, anxiety, nervousness, irritability, tremors in the fingers and hands, fatigue, sleeping issues, muscle weakness, brittle hair and thinning skin.
Women may also find that their menstrual patterns change when levels of Thyroid hormones in their body are too high.
Treatment Options For Hyperthyroidism
Treatment for Hyperthyroidism is essential in order to avoid the development of potential complications.
There are different treatment types that can be utilized to treat this condition – the treatment provided to a particular patient depends on what causes their Hyperthyroidism, as well as how elevated their Thyroid hormones are, their age, as well as whether or not any additional existing health conditions affect the patient.
WebMD6 explains that healthcare providers usually start a patient out with antithyroid medicine, which is drugs that reduce the activity of the Thyroid gland.
This helps to reduce the level of T3 and T4 Thyroid hormones present in the patient’s body. In addition to receiving antithyroid medication, some patients may also be given radioactive iodine therapy, which may further help to reduce the secretion of T3 and T4 hormones into the bloodstream and help to alleviate the symptoms a patient is experiencing.
In some less common cases, a patient may also be advised that they can undergo certain types of surgery in order to assist with treating their Hyperthyroidism.
Surgery as a treatment option is only recommended to a patient when their condition is more severe and when other treatment options do not seem to be working, as well as when certain types of underlying causes are behind the excess secretion of Thyroid hormones.
Hypothyroidism is the opposite of Hyperthyroidism.
If a patient is diagnosed with this particular condition, it means their Thyroid is unable to produce an adequate amount of T3 and T4 Thyroid hormones to support the metabolism process of cells throughout their body.
The condition affects up to 2% of the population, according to a study7 published in the Oxford Academic British Medical Bulletin.
Women are also at a ten times higher risk of suffering from Hypothyroidism, and the condition seems to affect older women mostly.
Causes Of Hypothyroidism
There are a couple of potential underlying causes for Hypothyroidism. According to Medical News Today8, the most common cause for this condition is an autoimmune disease known as Hashimoto’s disease.
When a patient develops Hashimoto’s disease, it means their immune system is falsely attacking their own thyroid gland, which causes inflammation in the Thyroid gland and also impairs the Thyroid’s ability to produce an adequate supply of Thyroid hormones.
Other potential causes for an underactive Thyroid gland may include:
- An imbalance in iodine in the body.
- Abnormalities with the pituitary gland.
- Some types of medication, including tyrosine kinase inhibitors, lithium and interleukin-2 drugs, can also interfere with the normal functioning of the Thyroid gland.
- Prior Thyroid surgery may also cause issues with the secretion of T3 and T4 Thyroid hormones. Surgery may have been conducted to treat Thyroid cancer, Thyroid nodules and hyperthyroidism.
- Thyroiditis may also contribute to an underactive Thyroid gland.
Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism
Patients should be aware of the symptoms associated with Hypothyroidism, as this condition can lead to complications should it go untreated.
One of the first signs of Hypothyroidism in women is usually a change in their menstrual cycle.
Many other symptoms may also develop9, including chronic fatigue, depression, hair loss, dry skin, constipation, a slower heart rate, weight gain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Patients who suffer from Hypothyroidism often find it very difficult to effectively lose weight.
Many patients also experience an elevated sensitivity to colder temperatures. A goiter may also develop, which is a swelling that occurs in the thyroid gland.
Treatment Options For Hypothyroidism
Different treatment options are available for patients with Hypothyroidism. The particular treatment method will depend on the severity of the patient’s condition, their age and some other factors, including the cause behind the Hypothyroidism. Medication is usually provided to patients with this condition.
There are different types of medication that can be used – let’s look at the most common types of medication, including their benefits and potential drawbacks.
Tirosint is a popular option for patients with Hypothyroidism. It utilizes the active ingredient “levothyroxine” and comes in the form of a gel cap. Levothyroxine is a common synthetic drug used to restore normal levels of Thyroid hormones in the human body10.
Tirosint is quite different from most other options available, as it does not contain lactose, gluten, alcohol, added sugars or dyes.
Synthroid is another relatively popular treatment option for patients who have been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. This drug also contains levothyroxine as its main active ingredient. It is used to treat Hypothyroidism and goiter. Side-effects of this drug may include an irregular heartrate, insomnia, weakness, fatigue, fever, sweating, dry skin, vomiting, changes in appetite and weight, as well as nervousness.
Eltroxin is a drug with the main active ingredient being Anhydrous Levothyroxine Sodium. This drug can be found in different dosage strengths, including a 25, 50 and a 100 microgram option. Eltroxin also contains lactose monohydrate, acacia powder, sodium citrate, magnesium stearate and maize starch.
There are many other brand names for levothyroxine, the most common drug used to treat an underactive thyroid by supplementing the body with synthetic Thyroid hormones. Some other common brand names of the levothyroxine drug include Levoxyl and Levothroid.
A healthy Thyroid gland that produced an adequate supply of Thyroid hormones contribute to improved metabolism and energy levels, and assists with the overall functionality of cells throughout the entire human body. Several Thyroid disorders can disrupt the abilities of the Thyroid gland, leading to the secretion of too much or too little Thyroid hormones. These conditions can have a detrimental effect on a person’s life, and lead to the development of numerous symptoms.
Treatment options are available to assist with restoring optimal Thyroid hormone levels in the human body, and to assist with the regulation of Thyroid function.
Here, we provided an overview of the Thyroid, as well as discussed common drugs used to treat the most prevalent conditions that affect the Thyroid gland.
1 Robert M. Sargis, M.D. Thyroid Gland Overview. EndocrineWeb. 20 January 2017. https://www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/overview-thyroid
2 About Your Thyroid. Thyroid Awareness. http://www.thyroidawareness.com/about-your-thyroid
3 Thyroid. Endocrine Society. http://endocrinefacts.org/health-conditions/thyroid/4-hyperthyroidism/
4 Verneda Lights, Matthew Solan and Michael Fantauzzo. Hyperthyroidism. Healthline. 27 October 2015. https://www.healthline.com/health/hyperthyroidism#causes
5 Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyperthyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20373659
6 Hyperthyroidism – Treatment Overview. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/women/tc/hyperthyroidism-treatment-overview#1
7 Mark. P. J. Vanderpump. The epidemiology of thyroid disease. Oxford Academic British Medical Bulletin. 1 September 2011. https://academic.oup.com/bmb/article/99/1/39/298307
8 James McIntosh. What is hypothyroidism? Medical News Today. 2 January 2018. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/163729.php
9 Hypothyroidism: Symptoms. PubMed Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0022777/
10 Levothyroxine. PubMed Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0001057/