What is a thyroid disease?
A thyroid disease is a medical condition that affects the function of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck. It produces hormones that regulate many important body functions, including metabolism. Thyroid diseases can cause the gland to produce too much or too little hormone, which can lead to serious health problems as your hormone levels aren’t regular.
There are two main types of thyroid diseases: hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
What is hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism, also called overactive thyroid, is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. Thyroxine helps to regulate metabolism, so too much of it can cause problems such as weight loss, anxiety, and heart palpitations. Hyperthyroidism can be treated with medication or surgery.
What are the effects of hyperthyroidism?
The effects of hyperthyroidism can vary from person to person. Some people may only have a few mild symptoms, while others may have more severe symptoms. The most common symptoms of having too much thyroid hormone being produced include:
- Weight loss
- Heart palpitations and fast heartbeat
- Increased appetite
- Heat intolerance
If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to serious problems such as osteoporosis, heart failure, and an increased risk of death.
What are the causes of hyperthyroidism?
There are several possible causes of hyperthyroidism, but the most common cause is Graves’ disease. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland. This leads to the thyroid gland becoming inflamed and overactive. Other less common causes of hyperthyroidism include:
- Thyroiditis: This is an inflammation of the thyroid gland that can be caused by a viral infection or autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s disease.
- Tumors: Noncancerous (benign) tumors or cancerous (malignant) tumors can develop in the thyroid gland and cause it to become overactive.
- Excess iodine: Taking in too much iodine can cause the thyroid gland to become overactive.
- Certain medications: such as lithium (used to treat bipolar disorder) can cause hyperthyroidism.
How is hyperthyroidism treated?
The most common treatment for hyperthyroidism is taking a daily medication to prevent the thyroid gland from making too much thyroid hormone. Surgery to remove the thyroid gland is also an option, but it is usually only recommended if you cannot tolerate the side effects of medication or if your hyperthyroidism is caused by Graves’ disease.
If you have any questions or concerns about hyperthyroidism, be sure to talk to your doctor.
What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid, is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of the hormone thyroxine. This can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and depression. Hypothyroidism can be treated with medication.
What are the effects of hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- weight gain
- dry skin and hair
- slow heart rate
Hypothyroidism can also lead to an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter).
What are the causes of hypothyroidism?
There are many possible causes of hypothyroidism, including having an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s disease and Graves’ disease, certain medications, radiation therapy, and surgery.
How is hypothyroidism treated?
Hypothyroidism is usually treated with medication or a thyroid stimulating hormone. The most common medication used to treat hypothyroidism is levothyroxine (Synthroid).
If you have any questions or concerns about hypothyroidism, be sure to talk to your doctor.
Why are thyroid hormones so important?
Thyroid hormones are important because they help regulate the body’s metabolism. Metabolism is the process by which the body breaks down food and uses it for energy.
Thyroid hormones also play a role in maintaining the body’s temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Whenever products of these hormones are affected by thyroid disorders, it can cause a litany of issues for your body function. This is why it is so important to explore treatment options with your doctor if you discover that you have an irregular thyroid function!
Thyroid Optimization with Total Body Wellness Brownsburg
Indiana Wellness Serving the Brownsburg and Hendricks County Area
Whether you are already being treated for an underactive thyroid or can relate to the symptoms, having your thyroid optimized, versus being told it’s “normal” is essential to feeling better & studies have shown the thyroid hormone T3 improves mood better than synthetic antidepressants. If your thyroid hormone is not optimized, no other hormone can be either & a consideration that’s often overlooked in the world of hormones is that the “normal” ranges are not always representative of where you may feel and look your best. At Total Body Wellness we listen carefully to what our clients have to say and pay attention to their symptoms, rather than just the lab numbers. Our goal is for you to be optimal, not “normal”.