The thyroid, the petite organ located in your neck, is a body part most people don’t think about often. The hormone regulating abilities of the thyroid are easy to take for granted when it’s working well, but when your thyroid stops working properly, it can cause all kinds of unexpected problems.
Thyroid problems are manageable and treatable, but according to Thomas Nguyen, MD, MS of Boynton Beach, Florida’s Nguyen Medical Group, you’ll have the best outcome if you can get a diagnosis as early as possible. Learn more about the warning signs of thyroid problems that indicate you might need to get treatment.
Understanding the thyroid
Your thyroid is a small organ that regulates many of your body’s hormones. These hormones are important for the healthy functioning of your metabolism, as well as your growth and internal temperature.
When working properly, your thyroid naturally self-regulates any problems in your hormonal balance, keeping your hormones steady at all times.
When the thyroid develops problems
When your thyroid stops producing the correct number of hormones, you develop a thyroid disease. Your body can make too many or too few hormones, creating an imbalance that leads to uncomfortable symptoms or potentially serious complications.
Two of the most common thyroid conditions are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid creates too many hormones, while in hypothyroidism your body doesn’t create enough. Without treatment, both conditions can lead to autoimmune disorders and other medical problems.
Anyone can develop a thyroid imbalance, but they’re more common as you age, especially after age 60 in men and women and after menopause in women. Thyroid conditions are also more common in women, people with certain medical conditions, including diabetes, and people with a family history of thyroid issues.
Symptoms of thyroid problems
Catching thyroid issues early is important for managing their care, so if you suspect you might have a thyroid condition, schedule an evaluation at Nguyen Medical Group. These are some common symptoms:
- Significant weight loss or gain without a clear cause
- Sensitivity to either hot or cold temperatures
- Increased anxiety, nervousness, irritability, or forgetfulness
- Muscle pain, weakness, or tremors
- Joint pain
- Dry skin or hair, or thinning hair
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sweating less than previously
- Developing a hoarse voice
- In women, changes to your menstrual cycle, including heavy flow or irregular periods
These thyroid signs often come on over a period of several years and are initially subtle. Therefore, it’s important to take any potential symptoms seriously, even if they seem minor.
Resolving your thyroid problems
Once Dr. Nguyen has diagnosed you with a thyroid problem, he develops a personalized care plan. Usually, thyroid treatment involves a combination of medications and lifestyle changes.
If you have hypothyroidism, medication can replace your thyroid hormones, while hyperthyroidism benefits from medication that slows down the production of hormones. Both conditions improve if you aim to lower your stress levels and develop coping techniques for stress, eat healthy, and are physically active.
If you’re concerned about your thyroid, request an appointment online or over the phone with our team.