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Thyroid Disorders

Montgomery Family Care

Family Medicine located in Mt Sterling, KY

The thyroid gland serves several vital functions, so you could get very sick if it stops working properly. The experienced team at Montgomery Family Care in Mt Sterling, Kentucky, diagnoses and treats thyroid disorders, restoring you to health and preventing potentially life-threatening complications. To arrange a thyroid screening test or discuss your thyroid disorder symptoms, call Montgomery Family Care today or schedule an appointment online.

Thyroid Disorder Q & A

What is a thyroid disorder?

Thyroid disorders affect the thyroid gland in your neck. This gland produces thyroid hormones that your body needs for vital functions like regulating your metabolism.

If your thyroid makes too much or too little hormones, the imbalance affects many of your body’s systems. The two main conditions are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

What is hypothyroidism?

With hypothyroidism, your thyroid isn’t making enough thyroid hormones. This slows your metabolism and leads to symptoms such as:

  • Lack of energy
  • Weight gain
  • Problems losing weight
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Dry, thinning hair and skin
  • Hair loss
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Slow heart rate
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (wrist pain)

These symptoms mimic other disorders, menopause in particular. Hypothyroidism tends to be more common in middle-aged women, who often attribute their symptoms to menopause because they don’t realize they also have a thyroid disorder.

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It’s an autoimmune disorder where your immune system mistakenly attacks the cells that produce thyroid hormones.

What is hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism is less common than hypothyroidism. With this disorder, your thyroid gland produces excessive quantities of thyroid hormone, causing symptoms that include:

  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Palpitations
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Problems sleeping
  • Thinning skin
  • Fine, brittle hair
  • Frequent urination
  • Hand tremors
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Mood swings

The most likely cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease, another autoimmune disorder. In this case, it leads to thyroid hormone overproduction. 

How are thyroid disorders diagnosed and treated?

Your Stanton Family Clinic provider diagnoses thyroid disorders with a blood test. This straightforward lab test measures the levels of thyroid hormones in your blood. If they need to see the internal structure of your thyroid, Stanton Family Clinic has on-site ultrasound scanning facilities.

Treating your thyroid disorder involves rebalancing the thyroid hormone levels in your body. If you have hyperthyroidism, you need to take medication that slows down thyroid hormone production. If you have hypothyroidism, your provider prescribes synthetic thyroxine to raise your thyroid hormone levels.

You need to take your medication every day for life and return for regular blood tests to check your hormone levels.

Sometimes people with hyperthyroidism must undergo treatments like thyroidectomy — removal of part or all of the thyroid gland. Afterward, they need to take synthetic thyroid hormones because they can no longer produce their own.

If you have thyroid disorder symptoms, call Montgomery Family Care today or book an appointment online.