At DeRosa Medical, optimal hormonal health is one of the hallmarks of our practice. Every year we see, literally, thousands of patients for thyroid replacement therapies. As January is Thyroid Awareness Month, we want to take this opportunity to educate you to the importance of this small butterfly shaped gland that sits in front of your neck and controls so many of your vital bodily functions. The thyroid is the engine of the body. If your engine isn’t running, YOU’RE not running!
It’s estimated, as many as 25 million Americans have a thyroid problem, and most, have no idea that they do. Hypothyroidism, or an under-active thyroid, accounts for 90% of all thyroid imbalances.
Hypothyroidism can be either genetic or develop during the course of aging and occurs when the body lacks sufficient thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland makes the hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) both of which function to run the body’s metabolism. To wit, if you have a sluggish metabolism, it is feasible that you may have hypothyroidism.
Top 10 signs you may have Hypotheroidism:
- Weight gain or the inability to lose weight.
- Mood swings, anxiety or depression
- Infertility, irregular menses and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Fatigue after sleeping 8 to 10 hours a night or needing to take a nap daily.
- Muscle pain, joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, or tendonitis.
- Intolerance to cold
- Dry or cracking skin, brittle nails and excessive hair loss.
- Brain fog, poor concentration or poor memory.
- Neck swelling, goiters, snoring or a hoarse voice.
When you have hyperthyroidism, your body is producing excessive amounts of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4 and conjunctly, showing signs of a fast metabolism.
Top 10 signs you may experience with hyperthyroidism:
- Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
- Frequent bowel movement—perhaps diarrhea
- Heart palpitations
- Heat intolerance
- Increased sweating
- Light menstrual periods—perhaps even missed periods
- Muscle weakness
- Problems with fertility
At DeRosa Medical, we test ALL levels of the thyroid to make sure all are in working order with simple blood testing (most physicians do NOT). These blood tests can define whether the thyroid glands hormone production is normal, overactive, or underactive.
The standard treatment of hypothyroidism involves the daily use of thyroid hormone replacement therapies in the form of Levothroid, Synthroid or Cytomel or, better yet, Armour thyroid medication, which contains both T3 and T4. Your blood test results will determine what thyroid replacement therapy is best for you. In as little as one to two weeks, you should notice an increase in energy as well as lowered levels of cholesterol that may have been elevated due to the disease. Loss of weight may be noticed as well. This medication treatment will be life long, but the dosage may have to be adjusted over time. If you have coronary artery disease or severe hypothyroidism, your provider may start with a small dose and increase it over time, adjusting the dosage as the body’s metabolism adjusts.
Hyperthyroidism can be treated with anti-thyroid medications that interfere with the production of thyroid hormones. The most commonly prescribed medication is Methimazole; which in essence, helps the body to stop overproducing thyroid hormones.
At DeRosa Medical, we want you to understand that whether you have Hypothyroidism OR Hyperthyroidism both are treatable and in 99.99% of cases, quite easily.
If you have no energy, are listless and just can’t quite get going on a daily basis, call DeRosa Medical today to make an appointment to see any one of our providers. They are here to help get you back on the road to optimal thyroid health.