What is Thyroidism?
The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck and releases hormones that control the body’s metabolism. The thyroid regulates many processes within the body and when it does not function normally, unwanted symptoms can occur. It is sometimes difficult to determine if symptoms are associated with a thyroid abnormality, so specific tests are usually required to get to the root of the problem. The skilled family doctors at our Village Health Partners in Plano, TX have the diagnostics and training to accurately diagnose a thyroid problem so that proper treatment can be prescribed.
Type of Thyroid Disease
When discussing an abnormal thyroid, there are two distinct variations: hypothyroidism (low hormone levels) and hyperthyroidism (an increase in thyroid hormones). One of the most common symptoms when the thyroid does not function properly is a change in weight. Low levels of the thyroid hormone can cause weight gain, while increased levels can cause weight loss. These thyroid disorders can also cause a number of additional symptoms. Hypothyroidism can lead to a decrease in energy, depression, exhaustion, and feeling sluggish. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism can interrupt sleep and cause anxiety, irritability, and restlessness. Hair loss, body temperature irregularities, dry skin, vision problems, and other symptoms can be caused by a thyroid disorder.
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Causes and Diagnosis
There are a few known causes of thyroid disease, which is most prevalent in women over the age of 60. Genetics and a family history of thyroidism can increase an individual’s risk for developing the disorder. An examination of the neck to check for swelling, redness, or pain will help determine if the thyroid may be involved. Sometimes, it is difficult to know if the symptoms are being caused by a thyroid disorder or menopause. Blood tests can diagnose and confirm a thyroid disorder by checking the levels of TSH—thyroid-stimulating hormone. Tissue samples and biopsies may also be ordered.
Thyroid Disease Treatment
For patients diagnosed with hypothyroidism, thyroid hormone pills can be taken to help improve symptoms. This therapy will help control weight gain, as well as help with energy levels. Most patients will need to stay on this treatment throughout their life. For patients with hyperthyroidism, an antithyroid medication can be taken which attempts to lower the levels of the hormone. This treatment helps to slow the overactive hormone, which results in helping to gain weight, ease anxiety, and control mood swings.
Get Thyroid Help Today
If you are experiencing an unexplained weight gain or loss, are feeling irritable, depressed or sluggish, or have other symptoms that you believe may be associated with a thyroid disorder, it is important to get tested. The skill practitioners at our medical practice have the diagnostic technology and training to diagnose your condition and recommend treatment that will better you life. We invite you to call our office to schedule your appointment.
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