The thyroid supports a variety of physiological functions. This gland makes hormones that process carbs, fats, and proteins, that stabilize heart rate and help maintain normal blood pressure and body temperature. If dysfunction occurs in the thyroid, a chain reaction of physical symptoms results. Though it is believed that approximately 20 million Americans have thyroid disease, the signs are so easy to miss that many of them go undiagnosed.
It is important that thyroid disease receive proper care. But first, you must know the signs. We’ll discuss them here.
Thyroid disease typically involves either the over functioning of the thyroid gland, hyperthyroidism, or the under functioning of the gland, hypothyroidism.
The overproduction of thyroid hormones can result in symptoms including:
- Rapid heart rate
- Sleep problems
- Heat sensitivity
- Irregular, lighter menstrual periods
- Loose stools
- Weight loss
- Hand tremors
- Brittle skin
There is no cure for hyperthyroidism. However, an endocrinologist can develop a treatment plan based on accurate, up-to-date laboratory tests. In many cases, medication can effectively regulate the production of thyroid hormones. For more severe symptoms, a doctor may recommend radioactive iodine treatment to reduce inflammation and the production of thyroxine.
The underproduction of thyroid hormones could result in symptoms such as:
- Puffy face
- Slow metabolism
- Weight gain
- Reduced heart rate
- Stiff, painful joints and muscles
- Thinning hair
- Low body temperature
- Irregular, heavier menstrual periods
People with hypothyroidism may rely on the use of levothyroxine, a synthetic thyroid substance, to maintain hormone regulation.
Hyper- and hypothyroidism can be managed. To learn more about the treatment options offered by NYC endocrinologist Dr. Philip Rabito, contact us at (877) 703-3775.