From daily symptoms that can affect your metabolism to problems having an impact on your long-term heart and bone health, a thyroid gland that is not being functional can cause significant abnormalities. Getting the proper care can help you manage your thyroid disorder and allow you to start feeling better.
At Midtown Surgical & Skin Institute, we care about collaborating with you to find the correct approach for your thyroid concerns. Our compassionate, personalized medical consultations make it easier for you to feel better and enjoy your life.
Symptoms can vary, depending on whether your thyroid is producing too much or too little thyroid hormone.
Overactive thyroid (HYPERthyroidism) can result in:
Underactive thyroid (HYPOthyroidism) can result in:
Other symptoms can include:
Hyperthyroidism — In this condition, the thyroid gland is overactive.
Hypothyroidism — In this condition, the thyroid gland is underactive.
Hashimoto’s disease — This is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder found most commonly in middle-aged women. Symptoms include heavy or irregular menstruation, fatigue, depression, dry skin, thinning hair, and more. Initially, it causes hyperthyroidism symptoms and then eventually causes hypothyroidism symptoms.
Graves’ disease — This autoimmune disorder affects the thyroid, causing overproduction of thyroid hormone and leading to all the symptoms typical of hyperthyroidism. If left untreated or undiagnosed, it can cause long-term heart problems, strokes, and brittle bones.
Goiter — A noncancerous enlargement of the thyroid gland, often caused by a deficiency in iodine. It can also be a result of an overactive thyroid. Goiters are more common in women over 40, and may cause symptoms of both hyperthyroidism as well as hypothyroidism.
Nodules — These are small growths on the thyroid, usually too small to feel, but they can excrete thyroid hormone causing hyperthyroidism. Most nodules are benign up to 95%; however, they need a biopsy to confirm if they are benign or cancerous.
Thyroid cancer — This is one the most treatable forms of cancer. Signs can include a lump in the neck, hoarseness, and trouble swallowing. Different types of thyroid cancer exist, some acting very aggressively.
If you or your doctor believe you may have a thyroid condition, various tests can include:
Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are manageable by daily medication routines that must be maintained throughout your lifetime; otherwise symptoms can return.
Ultrasound guided FNA biopsy is an outpatient procedure, and you are able to return to work immediately.
Thyroid surgery is a single overnight stay in the hospital to monitor electrolyte levels and monitor the incision. Bruising and swelling is expected around the incision. Some hoarseness can be expected and typically goes away in 1-2 weeks. Steri-strips are placed over the incisions and typically remain until the post-operative appointment.
It is uncommon to have an iodine deficiency in the U.S., due to iodized salt in our diet. However, iodine deficiency is becoming more prevalent as patients are utilizing sea salt or pink Himalayan salt for cooking / everyday use. But it is still unlikely that your doctor will need to recommend supplements.
Prescription medications that treat thyroid issues may perform better depending on when you take the medication and what you eat with them. It is recommended to take it at the same time every day, preferably at 0700. It is also recommended to take the same brand of thyroid medicine and from the same pharmacy. This is due to different bioavailability of the medicine by different manufacturers, and different pharmacies using different brands of thyroid medicine. Your doctor or pharmacist can provide instructions and recommendations.
Unfortunately, there is no special thyroid diet. If you are experiencing thyroid issues, a careful medication routine is typically the best treatment.
The likelihood of being iodine deficient in the U.S. is very low. In general, a balanced healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and fruit, and few processed foods, will be sufficient. Be sure to ask your doctor before taking iodine supplements, as too much iodine can also cause thyroid problems, including a goiter.
Yes. Women are more likely to experience thyroid issues, and those issues can affect the menstrual cycle. It is important to consult with a medical professional to assess whether changes in your menstrual flow and other symptoms are related to the thyroid, menopause, or other conditions.
Anytime you are having symptoms that could be caused by improper thyroid levels, it is important to have your thyroid levels tested with a blood test. In addition, once you are over the age of 35, a screening every 5 years is recommended, since issues with the thyroid can become more common with aging.
Anytime you have a new lump or nodule in your neck that has not gone away after 1-2 weeks, it needs to be looked at immediately by a physician. There are a number of possibilities, but it needs to be closely examined. Further tests or imaging may need to be performed — such as an ultrasound and/or blood work. A biopsy may need to be performed as well.
Take control of your health and your life by choosing medical providers who are caring and concerned, open and honest. Set up a consultation visit today to see firsthand the compassionate care you will receive from our skilled and friendly team.