Thyroid Diagnosis and Treatment
The thyroid is a tiny gland located at the base of the front of your neck. This little gland has an enormous impact on your overall health.It’s part of your endocrine system, which makes chemicals called hormones that help control many of your body’s functions.It affects every organ in your body. The thyroid is responsible for helping to regulate many of the body’s processes, such as metabolism, energy generation, and mood.If your thyroid is not working correctly, it can send your body out of sync.
There are two types of thyroid conditions; there is hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. In this article, we will look at the difference between the two.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the gland is underactive and does not produce the needed amount of thyroid hormones. It can present itself at any age, but the risk increases as you get older.
Hypothyroidism is triggered by genetics and more common in women. It may also be caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder, low-iodine diet, and radiation exposure from cancer treatment. It may also be caused by the medications used to treat cancer, heart problems and psychiatric conditions.
The most common symptoms are fatigue, weight gain or difficulty losing weight, depression, muscle cramps, goiter, slow heart rate, sensitivity to cold, carpal tunnel,constipation, irregular menstrual cycles, brittle nails, and hair breakage.
Hyperthyroidism is the opposite- the thyroid is overactive and overproduces hormones. According to the American Thyroid Association, the cause of hyperthyroidism is a condition known as Graves’ disease.It is also seen more commonly found in women and occurs more often after the age of 50.
Excess thyroid hormone is associated with a high basal metabolic weight. This means that your body burns more energy while it’s at rest, so weight loss is a common symptom of hyperthyroidism. Some of the other common symptoms are weakness, racing heart, feeling agitated or nervous, sweating, puffy face,feeling flushed or hot,itchy or red skin, muscle weakness or trembling in the hands or fingers, joint pain, anirregular menstrual cycle, breast development in men, and brittle hairor hair loss.
In some cases, people may gain weight rather than lose weight. The weight gain is attributed to increased appetite and the treatment plan. If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to an irregular heart rhythm and excessive bone loss. If you have a family history and are experiencing symptoms, you should see your doctor right away.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
Are you wondering if you may have a thyroid condition? Usually, the diagnosis of a thyroid condition is made by a person’s primary care practitioner (PCP) who will run thyroid function tests. They are a series of blood tests used to measure how well your thyroid gland is working. Available tests include the T3, T3RU, T4, and TSH. If a thyroid condition is confirmed, the PCP may then refer you to an endocrinologist, which is a physician who treats hormone problems like thyroid disease and others.
Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism treatments involve medication therapy. The most common treatments for hyperthyroidism include antithyroid medications, radioactive iodine, and thyroid surgery. Anti-thyroid medication decreases thyroid hormone production. Antithyroid medicine does not cure the disease. In rare cases part of the thyroid is removed. Hypothyroidism is also treated with medication. Patients will receive hormone therapy. A synthetic thyroid hormone is given to regulate the body functions.
Instead of relying exclusively on lab results and medications, there are different options that can promote full health and wellness for your thyroid conditions.
Alternative Treatment Options for Thyroid Conditions
Managing thyroid disease can be challenging. It is usually a lifelong commitment and therefore it’s important to have the right team of professionals helping you along the way.There may be some more natural and holistic treatments available to you. This is important to consider since there may be some underlying issues that the traditional approach of treating with medications does not take into account.
A chiropractor can be an integral part of managing the thyroid condition. At Freedom Health Centers, the chiropractors are trained in treating thyroid issues and providing a wide range of treatments. Chiropractors canprovide supportive thyroid care, such as nutritional guidance or ways to ease musculoskeletal pain associated with the underlying thyroid disease (like carpal tunnel syndrome or joint aches).
One of the most common concerns when treating hypothyroidism is that the weight stays on even after a traditional treatment plan has been in place. However, only about 10% of the total weight gain is likely due to the water and salt that your body keeps because of hypothyroidism. If extra weight is the only symptom left after thyroid medication brings your hormone levels back to normal, hypothyroidism probably isn’t directly responsible for the weight gain. You will need to take a holistic look at your lifestyle choices.
A chiropractor can offer nutritional guidance. Getting proper nutrition supports weight loss and also helps with heart health, blood sugar concerns, and cholesterol problems that often are part of hypothyroidism. But,diet is just one part in weight loss. There is also exercise, managing the level of stress, and a sleep schedule. These are all important factors in trimming the weight gain. A chiropractor can help you plan a safe exercise routine.
When we sleep our bodies use that time to repair damage and maintain health. Also, the manual adjustments may contribute to getting a good night’s rest.Getting enough sleep will support your body to return to a more typical weight. Another facet in weight loss is to focus on lowering stress levels. High levels of cortisol can interfere with thyroid production. High stress levels can also lead to sluggishness, fatigue, and depression.
As you can see, there are many factors and considerations in treating a thyroid condition A one size fits all approach does not usually work in taking care of thyroid issues. If you have been diagnosed with a thyroid disease, allow the practitioners at Freedom Health Centers support you in a healthy, holistic approach to wellness. Call us atFreedom Health Centers (972) 542-3300.