Your thyroid produces the hormones necessary for critical body functions ranging from your metabolism to your blood pressure. At Wilmington Adult Medicine, internal medicine physician Stephen Liederbach, MD, diagnoses and treats thyroid problems for patients who live in or around Wilmington, North Carolina. If you’re concerned about your thyroid health, call or make an appointment online today.
Your thyroid is a small gland located at the front of your throat, just below your larynx. It produces hormones — thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) — that affect every cell in your body. Thyroid hormones regulate your metabolism, heart rate, digestive function, and more.
Thyroid disorders typically cause hyperactivity or hypoactivity. Common types of hyperactive thyroid disorders include Graves’ disease, thyroid nodules, and thyroiditis.
Hashimoto’s disease is the primary cause of hypothyroidism. You can also develop hypothyroidism following treatment for hyperthyroidism, such as surgery or radioactive iodine treatments.
Thyroid disease symptoms vary depending on whether you have a hyperactive or hypoactive thyroid. For example, a hyperactive thyroid can cause:
However, if you have a hypoactive thyroid, you’re more likely to experience weight gain, fatigue, dry hair and skin, depression, memory loss, irregular menstruation, and libido loss.
Your thyroid is critical to your overall health and body function, and if you suspect a problem, you should make an appointment right away.
In addition to performing a physical exam and reviewing your symptoms, Dr. Liederbach provides comprehensive blood tests to evaluate your T3, T4, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
Your pituitary gland produces TSH, which stimulates thyroid hormone production. Low TSH levels contribute to thyroid dysfunction.
Treatment depends on whether you have a hyperactive or hypoactive thyroid disorder. Dr. Liederbach can prescribe synthetic thyroid hormones to make up for an underactive thyroid.
He can also recommend medication to regulate a hyperactive thyroid. In some cases, you might need surgery or a radioactive iodine treatment to remove or damage part of your thyroid to reduce your hormone production.
Dr. Liederbach also provides lifestyle advice to promote thyroid health and enhance your overall wellness. For example, if your thyroid is underactive, you might need to follow a low-calorie diet and make sure you get enough exercise to manage your weight.
Call Wilmington Adult Medicine or make an appointment online today if you’re concerned about your thyroid function and want expert, patient-focused care.