Many of us don’t really think too much of the thyroid gland unless something goes wrong. Conditions affecting the thyroid can have an impact on our metabolism, causing changes in weight, mood, energy levels, and sensitivity to certain temperatures.
The Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. It’s responsible for producing hormones that control many of the body’s functions such as heart rate and metabolism. Hence, when something goes wrong with the thyroid gland, causing it to produce too much or too little hormones, one may experience weight fluctuations, restlessness, and fatigue.
There are different conditions that affect the thyroid but the most common ones include thyroid nodules, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, thyroiditis, Grave’s disease, and thyroid cancer.
Women are more likely to suffer from thyroid diseases than men. Thyroid disorders are most likely to occur after a major hormonal shift, such as after pregnancy or menopause.
Being a woman, over the age of 60, and having a family history of thyroid disorders can increase your risk of developing thyroid disease.
Thyroid diseases can be challenging to diagnose as their symptoms are similar to other conditions.
If thyroid disease is suspected, a specialist may recommend doing more than just a physical assessment. Blood tests may be performed to help confirm the diagnosis.
It’s important to see a specialist if you suspect you have a thyroid disease. Untreated thyroid disorders can have serious effects on the body especially if you’re pregnant.
The treatment plan would depend on the case and the patient’s overall health. Generally, for patients with underactive thyroids, artificial thyroid hormones will be part of the treatment plan. For overactive thyroids, medications that reduce hormone levels may be recommended.
Greater Knoxville ENT has thyroid specialists. They can assess your condition and recommend the most suitable treatment option for you. To request an appointment, you may call us at (865) 521-8050.