What Is a Thyroid Condition?
Your thyroid is a tiny butterfly-shaped gland in your neck. It is a vital part of your endocrine system and manufactures the hormones that control your body’s metabolism. With thyroid conditions, your thyroid either produces too much of these hormones (hyperthyroidism) or not enough of them (hypothyroidism).
What Are the Different Types of Thyroid Conditions?
The most common thyroid conditions are:
- Graves’ Disease – A type of hyperthyroidism.
- Hashimoto’s Disease – A type of hypothyroidism.
- Goiter – Another type of hyperthyroidism caused by an enlargement of the thyroid.
- Thyroid Nodules – Growths on the thyroid that can lead to either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
What Are the Symptoms of a Thyroid Condition?
The symptoms of a thyroid condition depend upon the type of thyroid condition. A hyperthyroid condition like Graves’ Disease or goiter can lead to sweating, shaking, nervousness, racing heart, sleep difficulties, thin skin, brittle nails, weight loss, bulging eyes, muscle weakness, and irritability. A hypothyroidism condition like Hashimoto’s disease can lead to dry skin, cold sensitivity, weight gain, slow heart rate, memory problems, depression, and constipation. A common symptom of having a goiter is neck swelling.
Who Gets Thyroid Conditions?
Hashimoto’s Disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is a condition where the body’s immune system attacks its own thyroid gland and is most common in middle-aged women. Graves’ Disease is similar in that the immune system attacks the thyroid, but in this case, it causes the thyroid to overproduce hormones. It is hereditary and most common in women between the ages of 20 and 30. Goiters are usually caused by an iodine deficiency. Since in the US, iodine is plentiful, when a goiter emerges it is typically a symptom of hyperthyroidism.
Diagnosing a Thyroid Condition
We can administer a blood test that measures levels of thyroid hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in your blood, which will indicate if your thyroid gland is overactive or underactive.
What Is the Treatment?
If you have a hyperthyroid condition, there are antithyroid drugs that can block hormone production. If this is not sufficient, the thyroid gland can be destroyed by radiation or removed, in which case the patient will need to take a daily thyroid hormone to get their necessary amount. If you suffer from a hypothyroid condition, a properly measured dose of thyroid hormone pills is usually an effective solution.
Visit Us for the Best Thyroid Treatments in Cartersville, GA
A thyroid condition is a serious condition that requires someone with a deep understanding of internal medicine. As a doctor with over 25 years of internist experience and certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Dr. Jeffrey Esslinger is that doctor. If you suspect you may have a thyroid condition and are seeking treatment in Cartersville, GA, or surrounding areas, call us now at (470) 888-6543 or contact us online below.