Are You Suffering From a Thyroid Disorder?

Are You Suffering From a Thyroid Disorder?

Thyroid disorders are incredibly common. In fact, it's estimated that 20 million people in the United States have some form of thyroid disease. What's more, as many as 60% of those with thyroid disorder are completely unaware of it.

Internal medicine physician Corey Howard, MD, is dedicated to helping you stay well. Dr. Howard provides top quality primary care to the Naples, Florida community, and routinely diagnoses and manages acute and chronic conditions, including thyroid disorders

Signs that you may have a thyroid disorder are easy to miss. Symptoms such as tiredness may be overlooked or attributed to things such as stress. That's why it's important to know the warning signs of a thyroid disorder so that you can seek evaluation and treatment.

Importance of your thyroid

Your thyroid is a small gland situated at the base of your neck. This small gland has a big job to do. It plays a key role in the number of bodily functions, including reproduction, growth and development, producing energy from the food you eat, and maintaining heart and digestive function. 

Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) occurs when you have too much thyroid hormone, and underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) happens when your thyroid fails to produce enough hormone to meet your body's needs. Underactive thyroid is more common than overactive thyroid, and women are more likely to develop thyroid disorders than men.

Warning signs of thyroid disorders

The signs and symptoms of thyroid disorders to look out for vary depending on whether your thyroid is producing too much, or too little thyroid hormone. Since underactive thyroid is more common, let’s start with that. 

Underactive thyroid symptoms

Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms that may point to an underactive thyroid.

Because your thyroid controls the rate of energy you expend, many symptoms of underactive thyroid represent a slowdown of your system.

Overactive thyroid symptoms

Overactive thyroid is the opposite of underactive thyroid. When your thyroid produces too much hormone, symptoms are generally related to excess stimulation of your system. Here are the most common signs of overactive thyroid:

Thyroid disorder signs can be subtle, so it's vital to pay attention to your body and be aware of any recent changes in how you feel.

Treating thyroid disorders

If you suspect that you may have a thyroid disorder, schedule a visit with Dr. Howard. Treatment depends on the nature of your thyroid disorder. If you have an underactive thyroid the standard treatment is hormonal replacement, which involves taking a medication daily that replaces the hormone that your body no longer makes. 

If you have overactive thyroid, Dr. Howard will perform tests to uncover the cause. Tumors and an autoimmune attack on your thyroid are the most common culprits behind overactive thyroid. Treatment may involve:

If surgery is required, Dr. Howard will refer you to a specialist. 

Thyroid disorders are treatable. If you aren’t feeling like yourself, schedule a visit to see Dr. Howard. A comprehensive evaluation can help detect the root cause of your symptoms. Of course, the symptoms we’ve discussed here can be a sign of other conditions, such as hormone imbalance, which Dr. Howard can diagnose and treat as well. 

To get started, call our Naples office to schedule a visit with Dr. Howard or book your appointment here on our website. Make your health a priority today.

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