The thyroid gland is a significant organ in the body that assists in regulating hormones, and any complications with it can have severe side effects on the entire rest of the body. One of these conditions, called thyroiditis, is one of several thyroid disorders that individuals should prepare for. Knowing what thyroiditis is and how to manage it is an essential part of bodily health, and catching it early can prevent unnecessary discomfort.
What Is Thyroiditis?
The thyroid gland is responsible for your body’s metabolism; it controls this process using several hormones. Thyroiditis is an inflammation of this gland, irritating the structure into producing a greater or lesser number of critical hormones. There are three stages of thyroiditis to be aware of, which include:
- Thyrotoxic Phase – This is the initial inflammation of the thyroid, causing it to over-produce hormones. This can lead to a condition called hyperthyroidism.
- Hypothyroid Phase – After several weeks or months of the thyroid releasing too many chemicals, it will start to run dry, resulting in a lack of hormones. This leads to a condition called hypothyroidism.
- Euthyroid Phase – This occurs after the thyroid heals, balancing out the production of hormones in the body, returning to normal.
Symptoms To Watch Out For
Individuals can experience a different set of symptoms depending on the stage of thyroiditis. For those in the first stage, thyrotoxic, symptoms can include:
- Sensitivity to heat
- Increased heart rate
- High levels of anxiety and nervousness
- Increased appetite
- Hand tremors
For those in the second stage, hypothyroidism, their side effects are:
- Sudden weight gain/ trouble losing weight
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulty maintaining concentration
- Dry skin
What You Can Do To Manage It
It’s important to consult with your doctor before making any drastic lifestyle changes; you may inadvertently do something that can make symptoms worse. Though, there are some common changes you can expect, such as your diet and exercise routines.
For hyperthyroidism, you may want to eliminate iodine from your diet, as it can increase hormone production even more. Make sure to increase your iron intake as well as get more calcium and vitamin D.
For hypothyroidism, it’s a good idea to take in more iodine, as the increase in hormones is beneficial when you lack it. Go for foods rich in zinc; the body will need that to help regulate hormones effectively. Also, make sure to have safe amounts of selenium, which can increase hormone production further but can be toxic in significant amounts.
Don’t Wait for Symptoms To Get Worse
The symptoms of thyroiditis may go away on their own, or they may be permanent conditions you’ll have to deal with for life. Always consult with your doctor for the best treatments and advice, and make sure to be aware of what thyroiditis is and how you can manage it.
Dr. Philip Rabito is a thyroid doctor in New York City, specializing in patients with endocrine disorders. With a history of treating patients with weight gain issues, hormone imbalances, and general thyroid disorders, Dr. Rabito has the expertise to help you navigate your thyroid condition.