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JCOM Abstract

J Clin Outcomes Manage 
2009 May;16(5):231-235
Hypothyroidism: management across the continuum
Tchong L, Veloski C, Siraj ES

Abstract Objective: To review the diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism. Methods: Review of the literature. Results: Hypothyroidism is a common endocrine disorder that occurs more commonly in women, the elderly, and those with autoimmune disorders. Symptoms are gradual in onset and include fatigue, cold intolerance, dry skin, and weight gain. Chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) is the most common cause of primary hypothyroidism; other causes include surgical removal or radioiodine ablation of the thyroid and drugs that cause a suppression of normal thyroid gland function. Commonly used medications can also cause a hypothyroid state. Treatment of hypothyroidism is thyroid hormone replacement with levothyroxine. If left untreated, hypothyroidism in its most severe form can lead to myxedema coma, an endocrine emergency associated with a high mortality rate. Conclusion: Physicians should have a low threshold for screening for hypothyroidism in patients with symptoms suggestive of the disease.

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