Medical IDs for Hypothyroidism
The confidence to live with hypothyroidism
Thyroid diseases affect an estimated 200 million people worldwide. In the U.S., the number one type of thyroid disease is hypothyroidism, which affects nearly 5% of Americans over the age of 12. A further estimated 5% of Americans go undiagnosed. Hypothyroidism is so common that all newborns in the U.S. are tested for the condition.
Hypothyroidism results from a malfunction in a person’s thyroid gland, which can cause symptoms ranging from cold intolerance to weight gain. If left untreated, the condition can cause life-threatening complications such as trouble breathing, heart problems, and even coma.
Fortunately, when diagnosed early, hypothyroidism can be treated effectively with medication. Treatment for the condition is lifelong and requires careful management of dosage amounts, follow-up appointments, and self-care. MedicAlert can play an important role in managing your care by keeping you safe in an emergency.
That’s why medical IDs for hypothyroidism are critical for people living with the condition.
How MedicAlert protects those living with hypothyroidism
One thing you shouldn’t worry about is what could happen if there’s an emergency. MedicAlert’s protection plans offer benefits that extend beyond the ID, providing safety and peace of mind for people living with multiple sclerosis, their families and caregivers.
24/7 Emergency Response
Our team provides first responders the information they need to provide fast, accurate care.
Digital Health Profile
All your vital information, all in one place for you and your caregiver.
Emergency Contact Notification
In an emergency, we connect families so that no one is alone in a crisis.
Share the information that’s important to your care, such as use of rescue medications or contraindication for tests like MRIs.
Pair a medical ID for hypothyroidism with the protection plan that’s right for you.
What exactly is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is the technical term for underactive thyroid. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck. In a person with hypothyroidism, the thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. When thyroid levels in the bloodstream are low, the metabolism slows down, affecting the entire body. This causes a host of symptoms that can affect the way you feel both physically and mentally from day-to-day. While early onset symptoms of hypothyroidism are not very noticeable, over time, they can begin to cause serious health issues.
What causes hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism can have primary causes or secondary causes. According to researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), primary causes are responsible for over 99% of hypothyroidism cases. Primary causes are conditions that directly impact the thyroid, resulting in the production of insufficient levels of thyroid hormones. The most common primary cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s disease. Also called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, Hashimoto’s disease is a condition in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid. This autoimmune disease is often hereditary. Other primary causes of hypothyroidism include:
- Iodine deficiency (iodine is a mineral the thyroid uses to make hormones in the body).
- Thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid), which can happen after a viral illness or following a pregnancy (postpartum thyroiditis).
- Treatment of hyperthyroidism (radiation or surgical removal of the thyroid, both can induce hypothyroidism).
While iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism, it’s very rare in developed countries. In most countries iodine is added to salt to ensure that everybody gets enough. Seafood also contains iodine. People living in some poor countries located far away from the sea are at risk of iodine insufficiency.
Common secondary causes of hypothyroidism are disorders of the pituitary gland. According to Merck, the pituitary gland controls the function of most other endocrine (hormone) glands, which is why it’s often called the “master gland.” The pituitary gland makes a hormone called TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) that tells your thyroid to make thyroid hormones. If you have a problem with your pituitary gland, it might not make enough TSH, which can lead to hypothyroidism.
What are the symptoms and complications of hypothyroidism?
Symptoms of hypothyroidism can develop slowly over time. In some cases, the symptoms can even take years to develop. While earlier symptoms typically aren’t life-threatening, if left untreated, they can lead to serious complications. Some of these complications can be life-threatening and include:
- Enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter).
- Heart problems.
- Mental health problems.
- Myxoedema coma.
- Trouble breathing.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Brain fog (difficulty thinking, feeling slow, confusion, or forgetfulness)
- Decrease in sexual interest.
- Drooping eyelids and puffiness around the eyes and face.
- Dry skin.
- Frequent and heavy menstrual periods.
- Hair thinning.
- Higher than normal blood cholesterol levels.
- Inability to maintain a normal body temperature or tolerate cold temperatures.
- Joint stiffness.
- Muscle weakness and soreness throughout the body.
- Numbness and tingling in the hands.
- Tiredness and fatigue.
- Voice becomes lower and hoarser.
- Weight gain.
What to engrave on MedicAlert medical IDs for hypothyroidism:
MedicAlert offers free custom engraving on all our hypothyroidism bracelets and medical ID products. Engravings on medical IDs for hypothyroidism should include any critical medical information that can protect and save lives in an accident or medical emergency, for example:
- Medications you’re taking
- Other medical conditions
- Any additional medical information that needs to be communicated to first responders
Sample engraving. Consult our team if you need help engraving your medical ID for hypothyroidism.
How do you diagnose hypothyroidism?
Symptoms of hypothyroidism are commonly confused with other conditions. This can make it difficult to diagnose the disease. To help diagnose hypothyroidism, your doctor will:
- Assess your medical and family history
- Order blood tests
- Perform a physical exam to check your thyroid glands and evaluate your symptoms
There are two blood tests doctors use to diagnose hypothyroidism: the TSH test and T4 (thyroxine) test. The TSH test is the most important test used to diagnose hypothyroidism. It measures the TSH hormone. If TSH levels are too low or too high, this may be a sign of a thyroid problem.
The T4 (thyroxine) test measures the blood level of hormone T4 (thyroxine). T4 is produced by the thyroid gland and helps control metabolism and growth. Nemours KidsHealth describes two types of T4 tests: total T4, which measures the entire amount of thyroxine in the blood, including the amount attached to blood proteins that help transport the hormone through the bloodstream, and free T4, which measures only the thyroxine that’s not attached to proteins (this is the portion of T4 in the blood that’s available to affect the functioning of many types of body cells).
How do you treat hypothyroidism?
There is no cure for hypothyroidism, but it can be treated. In fact, in just about every person living with the disease, hypothyroidism can be completely controlled. While treatment plans may vary by individual, the mainstay of hypothyroidism treatment is a medication known as levothyroxine. Sold in the U.S. under the brand names Synthroid, Levoxyl, Unithroid, Levothroid, and Tirosint, levothyroxine is a synthetic version of the T4 thyroid hormone made by the thyroid gland.
Levothyroxine works by restoring adequate hormone levels, which reverses the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism. Some people begin to feel better after a few days, but it can take months to restore the hormones to functioning levels. Levothyroxine is available in capsule, solution, and tablet form.
While levothyroxine can help control your symptoms and enhance your quality of life, it can also interact with a number of other drugs. Remember, treatment for hypothyroidism is lifelong, so a MedicAlert ID and protection plan can help play an important role in keeping you safe for life. A MedicAlert ID and protection plan can be there for you if you are unable to communicate critical information about your condition to first responders, ER doctors, and hospital staff if you are in an accident or other medical emergency.
How medical IDs for hypothyroidism combined with MedicAlert Membership provide peace of mind
- We’re your voice: If you can’t speak for yourself due to a medical emergency, your ID will speak for you – informing others about your hypothyroidism and any medications you’re taking.
- 24/7 emergency protection: In an emergency, the MedicAlert team will relay all of your critical medical information to first responders, no matter where or when your emergency happens.
- Always connected: You should never be alone in an emergency. That’s why MedicAlert will reach out to your designated contacts if you are unable to do so.
- Live with peace of mind and confidence: MedicAlert will be there for you every step of the way. You’ll have the confidence and freedom to live your life with hypothyroidism, knowing we’ve got you covered.