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Thyroid Disease

Thyroid imbalance can arise from an underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism) thyroid.

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Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid)

The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck and produces thyroid hormones that control the body’s metabolic rate.  An underachieve thyroid can be the hidden cause of many health problems and is very common. Over time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.

Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)

An overactive thyroid occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. Hyperthyroidism can accelerate the body’s metabolism, causing unintentional weight loss and a rapid or irregular heartbeat. It can mimic other health problems which can make it difficult to diagnose.

Thyroid Disease: Signs to Look Out For

Hypothyroidism: Symptoms of hypothyroidism include susceptibility to cold; fatigue; weight gain or difficulty to lose weight; lowered stress resistance; recurrent infections; depression; dry skin and hair; brittle nails; thinning of hair; heart palpitations; hoarse voice; infertility; poor concentration; and menstrual problems. It can also influence cholesterol negatively which in turn causes coronary artery disease.

Hyperthyroidism: There are a wide variety of signs and symptoms, including unintentional weight loss; rapid heartbeat; irregular heartbeat; heart palpitations; increased appetite; nervousness, anxiety and irritability; tremors in hands and fingers; sweating; changes in menstrual patterns; increased sensitivity to heat; changes in bowel patterns, especially more frequent bowel movements; fatigue; muscle weakness; interrupted sleep; thinning skin; and fine, brittle hair.

Treatments for Thyroid Disease

Hypothyroidism: Often missed with standard blood testing. To sufficiently test thyroid function, further blood and urine testing is required. This gives a more accurate and reliable picture.

Options ranges between synthetic Thyroxine (T4) and bio-identical Triiodothyronine (T3) and T4 preparations. Many people do well on synthetic T4 preparations. If a person is not feeling much different or improved on synthetic T4, then it is worth considering using bio-identical T3/T4.

Hyperthyroidism: Blood tests that measure thyroxine and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) can confirm the diagnosis. High levels of thyroxine and low or nonexistent amounts of TSH indicate an overactive thyroid. The amount of irregular TSH is important because it’s the hormone that signals your thyroid gland to produce more thyroxine.

Several treatments are available for hyperthyroidism. Meyer Clinic uses anti-thyroid medications and radioactive iodine to slow the production of thyroid hormones. Sometimes, hyperthyroidism treatment involves surgery to remove all or part of your thyroid gland. Although hyperthyroidism can be serious if you ignore it, most people respond well once hyperthyroidism is diagnosed and treated.

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