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Will I need lifelong medication to control my thyroid levels?

Q: I am a 34 years old female. My thyroid test indicates that my TSH levels are 5.1. I am taking Thyronorm 25 mcg daily. Do I need to take this medicine for all my life to come? What precautions should I take and when should I go for next thyroid test?

A:TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is secreted from the pituitary and it regulates the production of thyroid hormones which are T4 and T3. In hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid state) TSH is high and T4 and T3 are low. In hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid state) TSH is low and T3, T4 are high.

Hypothyroidism is a lifelong condition in most cases, but is easily treated by thyroid hormone replacement which is taken once a day and doses can be adjusted by checking the TSH and T4 levels. These levels should be checked no earlier than 6 weeks after the dose change.

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