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Is hypothyroidism curable?

Answered by: Prof Dinesh Dhanwal

Prof of Medicine and Head of Endocrinology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi

Q. I am a 24 years old woman weighing 58 kg diagnosed with hypothyroidism with TSH level 7.6. I am prescribed Levothyroxin tablet. Is hypothyroidism curable? Can I plan my conception? I have severe hair loss and lost 80% of my hair. I have gained 8 kg of weight and have irregular menstruation.

A.  It seems you have subclinical hypothyroidism (assuming that your T4 level is normal). This is a mild form of disease and needs treatment in your case as you have symptoms especially irregular periods and weight gain. To know the cause I would suggest you get anti-TPO done. If this test is strongly positive, then you will need medications for a long time, possibly lifelong. You may go ahead with pregnancy when your TSH is normal, which usually takes 6 weeks after starting treatment. Please ensure that your TSH is normal before planning pregnancy. During pregnancy you will need higher doses of leothyroxine. Most of your symptoms will reverse with treatment.

A.  It seems you have subclinical hypothyroidism (assuming that your T4 level is normal). This is a mild form of disease and needs treatment in your case as you have symptoms especially irregular periods and weight gain. To know the cause I would suggest you get anti-TPO done. If this test is strongly positive, then you will need medications for a long time, possibly lifelong. You may go ahead with pregnancy when your TSH is normal, which usually takes 6 weeks after starting treatment. Please ensure that your TSH is normal before planning pregnancy. During pregnancy you will need higher doses of leothyroxine. Most of your symptoms will reverse with treatment.

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