What Are Thyroid Issues?
Many people in the United States suffer from thyroid issues and thyroid disease each year. MainStreet Family Care is here to educate you on the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment methods!
What Is The Thyroid?
The thyroid gland is located in the neck and is responsible for producing hormones such as triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). This small organ has many large responsibilities in the body, such as regulating a plethora of bodily processes. Your thyroid regulates:
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate
- Body temperature
Thyroid Dysfunction and Disease
There are a variety of thyroid issues and diseases that can wreak havoc on your body if not properly diagnosed and treated. The symptoms of thyroid issues can make it difficult to carry on a normal life, which is why it is so important to know the signs and symptoms of a disorderly thyroid.
The most common thyroid diseases are hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Other conditions that affect the thyroid include tumors and cancer.
Hypothyroidism can be understood as an underactive thyroid, as it causes the thyroid to not produce enough hormones to regulate bodily functions. This condition is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body’s antibodies attack the thyroid and lead to dysfunction. Tumors on the thyroid can also lead to this condition.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Lack of energy
- Lowered metabolism, leading to weight gain
- Stunted bone growth
Although this disorder presents difficult symptoms, treatment is fairly easy. Most patients diagnosed with hypothyroidism will be prescribed levothyroxine to help with your T4 levels. It may take time to feel the benefits of this medication, but once dosage is corrected most patients begin feeling better.
Hyperthyroidism is often referred to as an overactive thyroid, the opposite of hypothyroidism. It is also an autoimmune disorder, and can cause the following symptoms:
- Unexpected weight loss
- Irregular heartbeat
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Protruding eyes
Patients who experience this type of thyroid disease may be placed on antithyroid medication to help reduce the amount of hormones produced.
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is another autoimmune disease that causes the thyroid to swell. This swelling of the thyroid can initially lead to hyperthyroidism, then over time develop into hypothyroidism.
Patients who have this disease may experience symptoms of both diseases, but at different times. It is generally treated with the same medication as hypothyroidism, levothyroxine.
How Are Thyroid Issues Diagnosed?
While there are obvious symptoms of thyroid issues, blood tests must be used to officially diagnose these conditions. If you are experiencing these symptoms, talk with your primary care provider about getting blood work done to ensure it is not any of these conditions.
Turn To MainStreet Family Care
Are you facing thyroid issues? MainStreet can help you heal and feel better fast! To visit our primary care providers, sign up online and schedule your first appointment. We pride ourselves on quick and easy appointments, meaning you can even secure same and next-day appointments.