What Is Thyroid Disorder?
There are many different thyroid disorders, but all share a common trait: They all affect the tiny thyroid gland in your neck and impair its functions. When the hypothalamus in your brain detects low levels of thyroid hormone, it causes a chain reaction, releasing a thyrotropin-releasing hormone that stimulates the pituitary gland to release a thyroid-stimulating hormone, which finally stimulates the thyroid gland to release thyroxine. A fault in any of these steps can lead to serious health problems and many disorders, including the most common; reduced thyroid levels, known as hypothyroidism, or increased thyroid levels, known as hyperthyroidism.
When your body produces insufficient thyroid hormone, you may suffer a slow metabolism, which can lead to:
The most common causes of hypothyroidism include Hashimoto’s Disease, where your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your thyroid gland, thyroid hormone resistance and thyroiditis, or inflammation of the thyroid. Women over sixty are at most risk of suffering from hypothyroidism, but it can also affect men and youth. Pregnancy, Type 1 diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and celiac disease are just some of the many risk factors that contribute to the disorder.
In order to regulate and manage your low thyroid levels, our knowledgeable staff can check your current levels and prescribe an appropriate dose of oral medication to supplement your body’s production. Consistently taking your medication is the best way to manage hypothyroidism.
When your body produces too much thyroid hormone, your metabolism speeds up, causing:
Hyperthyroidism is less common than hypothyroidism and is often the result of Graves’ Disease, an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid gland. It can also be exacerbated by thyroid gland trauma and vitamin D deficiency.
Treatment involves reducing the production of thyroid hormone. A variety of oral medicines are used, including antithyroid medicine which reduces production, beta-blockers which alleviate symptoms and radioiodine therapy which kills some of the problematic thyroid cells. As a last resort, our experienced surgeons can perform thyroid surgery to remove part or all of the thyroid gland.
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms or think you may have a thyroid disorder, visit us now at AllCare Family Medicine And Urgent Care in Tysons Corner for a walk-in consultation, or schedule an appointment by calling us now or through our online booking tool.