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Thyroid Disease

Welcome to Dallas Primary Care’s guide to thyroid disease. The thyroid gland,located in the front of your neck just below the Adam’s apple, plays a crucial role in regulating various bodily functions by producing thyroid hormones. These hormones influence metabolism, energy levels, temperature regulation, heart rate, and more.

Understanding Thyroid Disease

Understanding thyroid disease is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being. In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, and management strategies for thyroid disorders. If you suspect you may have a thyroid-related issue or have questions about your thyroid health, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Dallas Primary Care for personalized care and support. Thyroid disease encompasses a range of conditions that affect the function and structure of the thyroid gland. Three common thyroid disorders include:

  1. Hypothyroidism: This occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. It can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, dry skin, and depression.
  2. Hyperthyroidism: In contrast, hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces an excess of thyroid hormones. Symptoms may include weight loss, rapid heartbeat, sweating, nervousness, and tremors.
  3. Thyroid Nodules: These are lumps or growths that develop within the thyroid gland. While many thyroid nodules are benign (non-cancerous) and cause no symptoms, some may be cancerous or cause symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, or visible swelling in the neck.

Symptoms of Thyroid Disease

Thyroid disorders can manifest in a variety of symptoms that impact overall well-being. Recognizing these signs is crucial for timely diagnosis and treatment. Here are some common symptoms associated with thyroid disorders:

  1. Fatigue: Persistent tiredness or exhaustion, regardless of adequate rest, is a hallmark symptom of thyroid disorders, particularly hypothyroidism.
  2. Weight Changes: Unexplained weight gain or weight loss, often accompanied by changes in appetite, can indicate thyroid dysfunction. Hypothyroidism tends to cause weight gain, while hyperthyroidism often leads to weight loss.
  3. Mood Swings: Thyroid imbalances can affect mood stability, leading to mood swings, irritability, anxiety, or depression.
  4. Changes in Heart Rate: Hyperthyroidism may cause an increased heart rate (tachycardia), palpitations, or irregular heartbeat, while hypothyroidism can result in a slower heart rate (bradycardia).
  5. Temperature Sensitivity: Feeling excessively cold or hot, intolerance to temperature changes, or cold extremities can be indicative of thyroid dysfunction.
  6. Hair and Skin Changes: Dry, brittle hair; thinning hair; coarse, dry skin; or brittle nails are common in hypothyroidism, while sweating, oily skin, or hair loss can occur in hyperthyroidism.
  7. Digestive Issues: Constipation is a common symptom of hypothyroidism, whereas hyperthyroidism may lead to diarrhea or frequent bowel movements.
  8. Menstrual Irregularities: Women with thyroid disorders may experience irregular menstrual cycles, heavier or lighter periods, or fertility issues.
  9. Muscle Weakness and Joint Pain: Muscle weakness, aches, stiffness, or joint pain can occur with thyroid dysfunction.
  10. Swelling in the Neck: Enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter) or the presence of thyroid nodules may cause visible swelling or discomfort in the neck area.

At Dallas Primary Care, we prioritize comprehensive, patient-centered care for individuals with thyroid disorders. We are committed to supporting our patients through regular monitoring, individualized treatment plans, and ongoing communication. If you have been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder or have concerns about your thyroid health, we encourage you to schedule regular follow-up appointments and communicate any changes in symptoms or concerns with our team. Together, we can work towards optimizing your thyroid health and overall well-being.

Thyroid Management FAQs

What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland found just at the base of your neck. To control various vital functions in your body, this gland produces specific hormones. When these hormones aren’t present in the right amount, you may experience problems with any or all of the functions these hormones control.
What causes problems with the thyroid?

Problems with the thyroid gland can result from several different factors, and can vary depending on your diagnosis.
If you have hyperthyroidism, causes include: inflammation of the thyroid gland, autoimmune disorders, and nodules on the thyroid.
If you have hypothyroidism, causes include: certain medications, having a history of thyroid surgery, autoimmune disease, and pituitary disorders.

Who can benefit from chronic care management?

Anyone who is living with a chronic illness can benefit from chronic care management. After completing a thorough physical exam, discussing your symptoms, and reviewing your medical history, we can provide a treatment plan for you.

To learn more about chronic disease management, make an appointment today at Dallas Primary Care by contacting our office or by clicking on our online booking tool.

How to check for any thyroid problem?
We may suspect a problem with your thyroid gland if you show the symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
The symptoms of hyperthyroidism may include:

  • Weight loss
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Skin dryness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle weakness
  • Light or missed periods
  • Increased bowel movement frequency

The symptoms of hypothyroidism may include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Puffiness in the face
  • Weight gain
  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Muscle weakness and aching
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Pain in the joints
  • Fatigue
  • Slower heart rate
  • Memory problems
  • Depression

To confirm the diagnosis of either type of thyroid problem, Karen will test your thyroid hormone levels. We do a “full thyroid panel” – TSH, T4 free, and T3 free. If need be, we will also test thyroid antibodies.

How do we treat thyroid problems?

The treatment for thyroid problems will depend on the nature of your disorder.
If you have hypothyroidism, you may need to take extra thyroid hormones to make up for your thyroid gland’s inability to produce enough on its own.
If you have hyperthyroidism, you may need medication that stops the thyroid from producing high levels of hormones. In some cases, patients with hyperthyroidism that doesn’t get better with more conservative treatments may need surgery to remove the thyroid gland.

How does thyroid disease affect fertility and pregnancy?

Thyroid disorders, particularly hypothyroidism and untreated hyperthyroidism, can affect fertility and increase the risk of complications during pregnancy. Thyroid hormone imbalances may disrupt ovulation and menstrual cycles, making it harder to conceive.

How often should thyroid function be monitored?

The frequency of thyroid function monitoring depends on individual factors such as the type and severity of thyroid disease, response to treatment, and presence of other medical conditions.

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