Premier Healthcare Associates, PC
Hitesh B. Patel, MD
Board Certified Internal Medicine (Primary Care Physician) & Board Certified Obesity Medicine located in Brick, NJ
Symptoms like chronic fatigue, weight gain, and dry skin and hair could be due to thyroid disease rather than being an inevitable part of the aging process. If symptoms like these are affecting your well-being, act now before they get any worse and visit Hitesh Patel, MD, of Premier Healthcare Associates, PC, in Brick, New Jersey. Dr. Patel can diagnose the cause of your symptoms and provide the therapies you need, helping you regain your vitality. Call Premier Healthcare Associates, PC, or book a consultation online today.
Thyroid Disease Q & A
What is thyroid disease?
Thyroid disease is an umbrella term for several conditions that can affect your thyroid gland.
The thyroid is a gland in your neck that forms part of your endocrine system. It produces hormones that regulate your metabolism – the way your body uses energy.
If there's an imbalance in the levels of thyroid hormones in your body, it can have life-changing effects, and untreated thyroid disease is potentially life-threatening.
The two primary forms of thyroid disease are hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).
What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is a condition where your thyroid isn't making enough of the thyroid hormones. The result of low thyroid hormone levels is that your metabolism slows down. This causes symptoms such as:
- Extreme tiredness
- Menstrual cycle changes
- Dry hair and skin
- Hair loss
- Temperature sensitivity
- Slowed heart rate
- Weight gain
- Problems losing weight
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Hypothyroidism typically affects people when they reach middle age. It's also more common in women. The symptoms are similar to those of other health problems, particularly menopause and Type 2 diabetes. As a result, hypothyroidism frequently goes undiagnosed until the symptoms become more severe.
Many cases of hypothyroidism are due to an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Hashimoto’s attacks the thyroid, causing inflammation that can lead to hypothyroidism.
What is hyperthyroidism?
If you have hyperthyroidism, it means your thyroid is producing too much thyroid hormone. The result of high thyroid hormone levels is that your metabolism speeds up. This causes symptoms such as:
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and irritability
- Temperature sensitivity
- Unexpected weight loss
- Frequent urination
- Hand tremors
- Problems sleeping
- Thinning skin
- Fine, brittle hair
Hyperthyroidism could be due to a condition called Grave's disease or to nodules called toxic adenomas that grow on your thyroid.
How is thyroid disease diagnosed and treated?
After forming a preliminary diagnosis from your medical history and current symptoms, Dr. Patel needs to take a sample of your blood to confirm thyroid disease. Lab analysis measures the levels of thyroid hormones in your system and how well your body is using them.
Treatment of thyroid disease focuses on adjusting the levels of thyroid hormones in your body. If you have hyperthyroidism, Dr. Patel can give you medication that stops your thyroid producing hormones in such high quantities.
If you have hypothyroidism, Dr. Patel prescribes synthetic thyroxine T4. This drug boosts the levels of thyroid hormones in your body to get them back to normal. You must take your thyroxine medication every day and have blood tests periodically to make sure you're taking the optimal dose.
If you have symptoms of thyroid disease, schedule a consultation by calling Premier Healthcare Associates, PC, or book an appointment online today.