Thyroid Disease Treatment in the Bay Area
Have a problem gaining weight? Do you seem to be low on energy all the time? If you’ve struggled with muscle strength, emotions, heat and cold tolerance, or a combination of these things, you may need to be evaluated by a thyroid specialist for thyroid treatment. Around 20 million Americans have thyroid issues, and women are five to eight times more likely to be diagnosed with thyroid problems than men.
What is your thyroid?
The thyroid is a gland or organ that is situated at the front of the base of your neck and wraps around your trachea. The thyroid gland produces and releases a hormone that controls many functions of the body, including helping it regulate metabolism. Metabolism is a process that transforms food into energy. A healthy thyroid creates hormones that tell the body’s cells how much energy to use and produces more as those hormones are used up, maintaining the right amount to keep the metabolism working at a high rate.
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Types of Thyroid Disease
A person whose thyroid gland isn’t working correctly, making too much or too little thyroid hormone, may have a medical condition called thyroid disease. The main types of thyroid disease are:
- Hyperthyroidism – production of too much thyroid hormone
- Hypothyroidism – production of too little thyroid hormone
What causes thyroid disease?
Hyperthyroidism and hyperthyroidism can be caused by a variety of diseases that affect the way the thyroid gland works, and they can also be present at birth if it runs in your family.
The following conditions can cause hypothyroidism:
Iodine deficiency – The thyroid uses iodine in the body to produce hormones, and an iodine deficiency is extremely common, resulting in not enough hormone production.
Postpartum thyroiditis – This is typically a temporary condition that affects less than 10% of women after they’ve given birth.
Thyroiditis – When the thyroid becomes inflamed or swollen, it can produce fewer hormones.
Non-functioning thyroid gland – 1 in 4,000 newborns are born with a thyroid gland that doesn’t work correctly.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis – This painless autoimmune disease is an inherited condition in which the body’s cells attack and damage the thyroid.
The following conditions can cause hyperthyroidism:
Excessive iodine – When your body has too much iodine, the thyroid overproduces hormones.
Thyroiditis – When the thyroid becomes inflamed or swollen, it can overproduce hormones.
Graves’ disease – Also called, diffuse toxic goiter, Graves’ disease is when the thyroid gland is enlarged and overactive.
Nodules – When there are overactive nodules located within the thyroid, hyperthyroidism can result.
How often should you have your thyroid levels checked?
If you are a woman over the age of 50, the American College of Physicians recommends you get thyroid testing done once every five years. If you have any concerns, make an appointment to come in and see us. Thyroid disease can affect people of all ages, so it may be beneficial to be tested sooner than later.
Thyroid Disease Symptoms
Symptoms of thyroid disease are very similar to those of many other conditions, making the diagnosis sometime difficult.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
- Experiencing anxiety, irritability, and nervousness.
- Having vision problems or eye irritation.
- Having trouble sleeping.
- Feeling sensitive to heat.
- Losing weight.
- Experiencing irregular menstrual periods or having your menstrual cycle stop.
- Having muscle weakness and tremors.
- Having an enlarged thyroid gland or a goiter.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
- Feeling tired.
- Experiencing an intolerance to cold temperatures.
- Gaining weight.
- Having a hoarse voice.
- Having dry and coarse hair or hair loss.
- Having frequent and heavy menstrual periods.
- Experiencing forgetfulness.
What are the symptoms of thyroid problems in females?
Women are much more likely to have a thyroid disorder than men, especially those over 60. The most common thyroid problems in females include weight change, abnormal blood pressure, feeling cold all the time, fatigue, mood changes, period issues, changes in hair and skin, puffy eyes, mental fog, muscle aches and weakness, thinning eyebrows, and infertility.
What are early warning signs of thyroid problems?
Since so many of the symptoms of thyroid issues are synonymous with aging, it’s common to think there’s no serious problem. But fatigue, weakness, dry skin and hair, and loss of memory are all common signs of thyroid disease.
Are thyroid problems hereditary?
Yes. So, it’s wise to examine your family history for thyroid conditions. If there’s a history of nodules, keep an eye on yours.
Diagnosing and Treating Thyroid Diseases
Can thyroid disease be cured?
When you come into our office, we will conduct a complete medical examination and family health history to create an individualized treatment plan for you. After taking time to listen to your concerns, taking blood tests, and getting to the root of the problem, we pair diet and nutritional recommendations with thyroid medications. When nodules are found to be cancerous and surgical treatment is needed, we work with highly expert surgeons.
When to See an Endocrinologist for Your Thyroid
There are general practitioners that manage thyroid conditions, but some specific situations warrant a trip to see a thyroid doctor. If you are pregnant or have a newborn with thyroid nodules, an enlarged thyroid gland, or any symptoms of hyper/hypothyroidism, call and make an appointment with us today.