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† D. The Facts About Hypothyroidism

Narrator: This is Science Today. Women are up to ten times more likely then men to have hypothyroidism, which is a deficiency of thyroid hormone. Clinical pharmacist Betty Dong of the University of California at San Francisco says while thereís no explanation for this, hypothyroidism does run in families.

Dong: So if you have anybody in your family that has any kind of thyroid disease, either overactive or underactive or nodular or goiter, then those people may also be at risk.

Narrator: Once diagnosed with hypothyroidism, doctors usually prescribe a drug called synthroid, which Dong says costs about twice as much as generic brands. Contrary to popular belief, Dong and her colleagues found these generic formulations are actually just as good. But regardless of the product, Dong says the main point is to be consistent.

Dong: You have to take the tablets for almost a month before you actually start to feel better 140 because it takes a while for the drugs to accumulate in your system.

Narrator: For Science Today, Iím Larissa Branin.