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"Is hypothyroidism hereditary?"
My older sister has to take daily pills for her hypothyroidism, and so does my cousin. Does this mean I'm at higher risk? How can I keep my own risk low? What are the first symptoms I'll notice if I have it?
Hypothyroidism is a very common and easily treatable condition. It is best evaluated and treated by a primary care physician or an endocrinologist. People with hypothyroidism sometimes have family members with this condition. If you have have a family member with hypothyroidism, you are at higher risk for developing hypothyroidism. Unfortunately, there are no reliable things that you can do to prevent yourself from becoming hypothyroid. You can keep your risk low by eating a well balanced diet. This will ensure that you have the right amount of iodine (neither too much nor too little) in your diet. Getting the right amount of iodine is not usually a problem is this day and age in the U.S. There are many symptoms of hypothyroidism. These include constipation, fatigue, and weakness. Very often, people with hypothyroidism feel cold all the time, even when others feel warm. Sometimes, people with hypothyroidism also gain weight and have dry skin. Less often, they will notice their voices becoming hoarse or see swelling in their legs. Hypothyroidism cannot be diagnosed based on the symptoms that are listed above. If you suspect that you have hypothyroidism, visit your primary care physician or endocrinologist. Your doctor can perform a simple blood test and evaluate you for this condition.
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