What is thyroid disorder?
A thyroid disorder is a condition that affects your thyroid gland. Although your thyroid gland is tiny, this small gland in your neck produces hormones crucial to the metabolic process.
When you make too much or too little thyroid hormone, or when your thyroid changes in size or structure, some serious health problems and arise. There are many different thyroid disorders, with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism being two of the most common.
What is hypothyroidism and how is it treated?
Hypothyroidism is a thyroid disorder that happens when you don’t produce sufficient thyroid hormones. This causes slow metabolism, chronic fatigue, cold intolerance, and other symptoms. Hashimoto’s disease, in which your immune system attacks your thyroid gland, is the leading cause of hypothyroidism.
Women, especially over age 60, have a higher risk than men for hypothyroidism. Other factors that might put you at risk can include Type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, or other autoimmune conditions. Pregnancy is another risk factor.
For hypothyroidism treatment, your care provider typically prescribes an oral medication that replaces your missing hormones. You can get excellent results by consistently taking your medication.
What is hyperthyroidism and how is it treated?
Hyperthyroidism is a thyroid disorder that happens when you make too much thyroid hormone. It’s the opposite of hypothyroidism. Symptoms can include rapid heartbeat, weight loss, hyperactivity, and restlessness. Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disease that triggers an attack on your thyroid gland, is the leading cause of hyperthyroidism.
Risk factors for hyperthyroidism are similar to hypothyroidism risk factors but may also include vitamin D deficiency and thyroid gland trauma.
Hyperthyroidism treatment can take several forms, including:
In some cases, patients need to have thyroid surgery to remove a portion or even all of the thyroid gland. But, the surgery can cause the opposite problem, hypothyroidism, so it’s usually performed only as a last resort.
If you’re dealing with a thyroid disorder, or you suspect that you might have one, it’s important to ask for help as soon as possible. Click the online scheduler or call AllCare Family Medicine and Urgent Care of Ellicott City to make your appointment for thyroid disorder help now.