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Bay Area Endocrinology

Thyroid And Bone Loss: Can These Two Be Related?

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Osteoporosis And Your Thyroid

Most people don’t associate their thyroid health and their bone health, but the two are closely connected. If your thyroid isn’t functioning correctly, you can be at risk of developing osteoporosis. Those who are Caucasian and are slightly built have the highest incidence of hyperthyroidism osteoporosis, but anyone who has too much thyroid hormone can develop it.

What Is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a bone condition that can affect any person at any age. Typically, it occurs as a result of the aging process, but there are other causes. Osteoporosis causes the bones to become brittle and they can break easily because they’re very fragile. More than 2 million fractures annually can be attributed to osteoporosis, and most of them occur in the hip, spine or wrist. Almost 80 percent of the 54 million Americans who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis are women, and this can be due, in part, to hormonal fluctuations and the fact that men’s bones are denser than women’s bones. Statistically, as many as 50 percent of women and 25 percent of men who are more than 50 years old will incur a broken bone that’s attributable to osteoporosis.

The exact causes of osteoporosis are as yet unknown, but the process and the ramifications of it are well understood. Diseases such as Cushing’s syndrome and kidney disease can contribute to the onset of osteoporosis, as can some medications that cause bone loss, such as steroids and anti-seizure medications. However, hyperthyroidism is a very common contributor to the onset of osteoporosis. Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, that uses estrogen can help maintain bone density, but many women are reluctant to use HRT because of its potential side effects. Resistance activities such as walking uphill or lifting small amounts of weight can help to increase bone density and offset the deleterious side effects of osteoporosis, even if it’s caused by hyperthyroidism. If you suspect that you have hyperthyroidism osteoporosis, then you should schedule an appointment with your Tampa endocrinologist who can perform the necessary diagnostic tests. At Bay Area Endocrinology, we perform all our tests on site, we don’t send them to a lab for processing. Whether you need a biopsy, lab work, an ultrasound or another type of test, it will all be done on site, so you won’t have to wait days to get started on treatment.

What Is Hyperthyroidism?

Your thyroid gland produces two main hormones: T3, which is triiodothyronine, and T4, which is thyroxine. About 80 percent of the total production of these two hormones is the T4 hormone, and 20 percent is the T3 hormone. When you have hyperthyroidism, your body produces an excess amount of thyroid hormones, so you experience symptoms such as weight loss, fatigue, insomnia, heat intolerance, brain fog, and bone loss. Although the other symptoms are rather self-explanatory, bone loss can be puzzling.

If you have hyperthyroidism, you excrete excessive phosphorous and calcium through your urinary tract and your bowels, so you’re continually losing some of the minerals that are necessary for maintaining healthy bones. Whether you have hyperthyroidism because your thyroid is overactive or because you’re taking too much thyroid medication, the result is the same. If you’re taking thyroid medication, you should have your blood checked annually at a minimum because your body chemistry changes, so your dosing requirement may periodically change. If you have trouble maintaining your weight or if you repeatedly have a fractured or broken bone, you may have hyperthyroidism osteoporosis. In order to receive a correct diagnosis of this disease, you’ll need to have your condition diagnosed by your Tampa endocrinologist, so call us today to schedule an appointment and get started on your treatment regimen.

How Does Hyperthyroidism Cause Osteoporosis?

When your thyroid is overactive, which it is if you have hyperthyroidism, it causes your body to flush vital minerals and nutrients from your body. This includes the calcium and phosphorous that you need to maintain healthy bones, so over time, your bones will thin and become brittle because they no longer have the minerals they need to stay strong and healthy. Even if you take calcium supplements or other types of supplements, if your hyperthyroidism osteoporosis is left untreated, your bones will continue to deteriorate and you’ll run the risk of fractures and stooped shoulders.

What’s The Solution For Hyperthyroidism Osteoporosis?

If you think you have hyperthyroidism osteoporosis, then call our office to schedule an appointment. If you’re taking thyroid medication, call our office for your annual blood test so that you know your dosage is correct. If you have other endocrine issues, such as diabetes, obesity, low testosterone levels or any other endocrine problem, we can help you. Bay Area Endocrinology Associates in Tampa has multiple locations to serve you, and our on-site lab makes it very convenient to get your tests done.

What Is the Thyroid Gland and What is a Thyroid Nodule?

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The thyroid gland controls a lot of different areas. It releases hormones that help us to breathe, our heart rate, the central nervous system and regulates our body temperature. Without the proper regulation of hormones that control metabolism, our bodies can become distressed. So any time that the thyroid gland is deprived of nutrients or becomes out of balance, it is crucial that steps are taken to get it functioning properly.

Thyroid nodules refer to one or more growths that are found within the thyroid. If you visit your physician on a routine medical exam and this term is brought to your attention, do not panic. About 90% of all nodules are non-threatening and can treated. They can be present in your thyroid without your knowledge. An endocrinologist feel a small lump in your neck or discover one through an ultrasound of the thyroid. Nodules can either filled with fluid or can be solid throughout.

Do I Have a Throat Nodule?
There is a way to identify a throat nodule if it is prominent. Stand in front of a mirror and raise your chin so that your neck is exposed. Swallow and look around the area of the windpipe and Adams apple for any type of bump. Using your hands, feel for anything that seems abnormal. If something appears, contact your physician.

How Did I Get A Thyroid Nodule?
You may have heard that thyroid problems originate from lack of iodine. This is true in part. While Western diets have iodine added in many of their foods, there are still unexplained reasons why many people in the United States develop nodules.

Thyroid Adenoma – This is a benign tumor that is common. Usually singular, it can protrude from the neck and be easily spotted. Some are harmless and retract while others produce thyroid hormone known as hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid. An endocrinologist can provide treatment for this type of growth.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – This is an autoimmune disorder where antibodies attack the thyroid gland causing chronic inflammation. This condition is usually hereditary and not yet understood what causes it. Occurring mainly in middle-aged women, it can evolve in men and children of any age.

Thyroid Cancer – Although rare, thyroid cancer can emerge and be spotted by difficulty in swallowing, a nodule close to the Adam’s apple that gets larger, or swollen glands in the neck. Only the proper testing performed by an endocrinologist can evaluate and provide the right plan of action.

Those most prone to thyroid nodules are men over 60 or men under 30 years old.

How Can Thyroid Nodules Be Treated?
Before treatment can be rendered, the type of thyroid nodule must be determined. Your endocrinologist may take ultrasounds of your thyroid or check your thyroid hormone levels. If he/she makes the determination that the nodule is benign, periodic checks will be scheduled. If a change is noted from a follow-up visit, medication may be prescribed in order to keep your hormone levels in balance. Radioactive iodine has been used to keep nodules from producing too much hormone activity. However, this procedure will never be used on a female that is pregnant as the radioiodine could do permanent damage to the unborn. This form of treatment can cause the nodule to shrink. Other anti-thyroid medicines and surgery may be suggested depending on the diagnosis. Anytime that cancer is suspected, surgery is the best approach. Removing all thyroid nodules that are cancerous is necessary to stop the growth. If malignancy is confirmed, the entire thyroid along with any abnormal lymph nodes, will be removed.

Will Thyroid Nodules Come Back?
If you have had nodules in the past or if they are hereditary, the side of caution is always recommended. Depending on your individual history, you may be scheduled for follow-ups that include biopsies, thyroid scans or ultrasounds. Fortunately, 90% to 95% of all thyroid nodules are benign. Once you understand what the role of the thyroid gland and thyroid nodules are, the scenario will not be as stressful.

If you are concerned that you may have one or more thyroid nodules and live in the Tampa, Florida area, there are specialists ready to review your concerns. Bay Area Endocrinology Associates focus on the treatment of all thyroid conditions including cancer, nodules, hyper and hypothyroidism. All thyroid ultrasounds, biopsies, and lab work is done onsite for quick diagnosis and treatment plans. Complex metabolic conditions, like diabetes, obesity with a comprehensive weight loss program, and hormone deficient states such as low testosterone are also included in this practice. There are multiple locations in the area for your convenience. Reach out to Bay Area Endocrinology Associates today for professional help with any thyroid nodules or other thyroid related conditions.

Myths About Hypothyroidism

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Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid does not produce enough of the thyroid hormone. This is a common condition. However, there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions about it.

Myth: Only Women can get Hypothyroidism

Fact: This condition is more common in women. In fact, women are 5 to 8 times more likely to develop hypothyroidism than men. However, it is important for men to see a endocrinologist if they suspect that they have a thyroid problem.

Myth: Hypothyroidism Makes you Fat

Fact: Your metabolism is controlled by your thyroid. If your thyroid is not functioning properly, then your metabolism will slow down. However, there are other factors that can cause you to gain weight. That is why many people still struggle with their weight after they get their hypothyroidism treated.

Myth: Hypothyroidism Only Affects Older People

Fact: Hypothyroidism is most common in people who are over the age of 60. However, it is important to note that hypothyroidism can develop at any time. Younger women are at an increased risk of developing hypothyroidism while they are pregnant. They are also more likely to develop it immediately after they give birth.

Myth: You cannot Take Medication for Hypothyroidism While you are Pregnant

Fact: There are a lot of things that you will have to avoid while you are pregnant. This includes Aspirin, alcohol, and sushi. However, you can still take your hypothyroidism medication while you are pregnant.

Myth: Hypothyroidism Always has Symptoms

Fact: Many people in Tampa have hypothyroidism and do not know it. Fatigue, constipation, weight gain, depression, and joint pain are some of the symptoms that a person may experience if they are suffering from hypothyroidism. However, not everyone experiences those symptoms. If you experience any of those symptoms, then you will need to see your doctor.

What To Know About Thyroid Cancer

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What is Thyroid Cancer?

Thyroid cancer is a condition that is caused by the overgrowth of abnormal cells in thyroid gland. The thyroid is a small gland that is located in the throat. It regulates hormones and the way the body uses energy. Thyroid cancer is relatively uncommon. Most people who see a doctor in Tampa early are able to get their condition successfully treated.

It is possible for thyroid cancer to come back after it has been treated. The cancer sometimes returns several years after it has been treated.

Causes of Thyroid Cancer

The exact causes of thyroid cancer are not known. However, changes in the DNA can contribute to thyroid cancer. Genetics also plays a role. Genes can control the way that cells multiply and divide.

Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

A lump in the neck is one of the most common signs of thyroid cancer. This lump can cause pain in the neck. Thyroid cancer can cause neck pain or ear pain. Thyroid cancer can also cause hoarseness in the voice. Additionally, coughing is another sign of thyroid cancer.

How Thyroid Cancer can be Treated

Thyroid cancer is usually treated with radioactive iodine and surgery. It usually does not require chemotherapy or radiation therapy. How far the cancer has progressed will determine the treatment that is recommended. Your endocrinologist may recommend that you join a cancer support growth. A support group can allow you to freely talk about your emotions.

Preventing Thyroid Cancer

Because the causes of thyroid cancer are not understood, there is really nothing that can be done to prevent it. Radiation exposure early in life is one of the risk factors for thyroid cancer. That is why doctors rarely use radiation to treat diseases in children. People are exposed to radiation from x-ray and CT scans. However, the radiation dose is relatively low.

Radioiodine Therapy – An Important Treatment for Your Thyroid

By | Endocrinology

The thyroid gland is extremely important for overall health. The hormones produced and stored have an effect on our metabolism and on virtually all of the organs in the body. Radioiodine therapy has been effective treatment for more than 60 years for certain thyroid diseases.

What is Radioiodine Therapy?
The thyroid gland is unique, requiring large amounts of iodine in order to function. It is the only bodily tissue that takes up and retains iodine. Iodine is “pumped” into the thyroid’s cells, where it becomes concentrated and is known as iodide.

Iodide is made radioactive and given to the patient in either liquid or capsule form. It is absorbed by the thyroid and is able to destroy thyroid cells, but it has little effect on the rest of your body.

When Would an Endocrinologist Recommend Radioiodine Therapy?

Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)
Before effective treatments were developed, the death rate was 50% for those suffering from severe hyperthyroidism. Today, few people die from this disease. An endocrinologist treats hyperthyroidism with surgery, antithyroid drugs and radioiodine therapy depending on the circumstances. Treating hyperthyroidism with radioiodine therapy doesn’t increase the risk of thyroid cancer for the patient.

Radioiodine therapy is typically effective, safe and easy. It is often an endocrinologist’s first treatment choice for hyperthyroidism. The patient usually receives the maximum benefit from this treatment within six months.

Thyroid Cancer
Since the thyroid gland absorbs just about all of the iodine in your body, radioiodine therapy is often used to treat the two most common forms of thyroid cancer, papillary cancer and follicular cancer. This treatment can also be used following surgery to eradicate any remaining cancer cells.

Can a Pregnant Woman be Treated With Radioiodine Therapy?
Before treatment, pregnancy testing is required. If a woman’s pregnancy is discovered after being treated, consult a gynecologist as terminating the pregnancy should be considered.

Breast-feeding isn’t allowed following radioiodine treatment. The baby’s thyroid could be damaged by even a tiny amount of radioactive iodine in the mother’s milk. Both men and women should postpone having a child for at least six months.

In the Tampa Bay area, Bay Area Endocrinology Associates has multiple board certified endocrinologists treating thyroid and metabolic conditions, including Dr. Pedro I. Troya. Since the practice is focused on a single specialty, they have the experience needed for the most challenging thyroid conditions.

How to Choose a Great Endocrinologist 

By | Endocrinology

It can be unsettling enough to learn you have thyroid problems but then comes the confusion of having to find an endocrinologist. It may not seem like it now, but this is a position of power. It’s scary to be sick, but an endocrinologist is a path to finally getting some answers. This specialist is an important team member in your quest to really understand your thyroid issues and gain control over them. With a few easy steps, the process of searching will feel much less intimidating.

Check Your Insurance Plan
We’re starting here because it’s often the deal-breaker when looking for a new doctor. It’s disappointing to get excited over your top pick, only to find they are not in your network. Checking this first gives you a list of qualified providers your plan will allow you to use without penalty. There is usually a number you can call on the back of your insurance card to find out which physicians are in your network. Luckily, there are many endocrinologists in Tampa, which gives you quite a lot of choice.

Ask Around and Research
Now that you’re armed with a workable list, you can begin your research. You can check with your friends, family and social media connections to see if anyone has had experience with a physician on your list. Your other doctors may have recommendations for you as well. You can check the AACE (American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists) website as well. Research each doctor online and check out their website. Look at their education and how involved they are in their field.

Decide Your Preferences
Each person, depending on their needs, will have their own ideas for what makes a great doctor. You might want one that specializes in the thyroid as opposed to someone who is a generalist or specializes in diabetes. Perhaps you want a doctor who is near another you visit regularly. You may need an office that is near your home, work or public transportation. Some people even choose a doctor that participates in the same sport they do, so they will be on the same wavelength. Deciding what’s important to you will help you narrow it down.

Write Down Your Questions in Advance
It’s easy to get flustered when meeting new doctors and forget to ask all the questions you were thinking about before your appointment. Writing them down in advance, when you are calm and collected, will make sure you cover all the bases.

Bring the List with You
Bringing the list with you will help ensure you don’t forget anything important. You can even create the list on your phone, so you’ll know for sure you have it with you.

Don’t feel bad about your questions. Think of your body as a company that is hiring team members. Interviews are very important in this process and will pay dividends by landing you a doctor with whom you can really communicate. You’ll find your endocrinologist is the MVP in managing your thyroid dysfunction.

Pay Your Top Picks a Visit
If there isn’t already a clear choice, a visit to your favorites will help you decide on someone. You will likely see your endocrinologist for many years, so you want to feel welcome and comfortable in the office. Is the seating comfortable? You may be waiting on days you don’t feel very well. Is the staff welcoming? They will be your primary point of contact when making appointments. Break out your list. Does the doctor answer your questions in an informative way? You’ll want your condition and your medications explained in a way you can understand. You want to be able to trust that they hear your questions and will respond with appropriately informative answers.

Don’t be Afraid to Change Your Mind
We can feel like everything we decide is permanent and we are stuck now, but it’s not true. We have power over our choices. Sometimes things just don’t work out. It’s okay. It’s not a mistake. You just learned something, and you can move on. If you aren’t happy with your endocrinologist, you are free to choose another. Simply start at the top of the list and work your way down again. Be sure to note what bothered you about the last doctor, so you can make sure it’s not an issue with the new one.

Putting it All Together
We’re hoping this article has taken away some of the overwhelm our prospective patients can feel when faced with having to choose a new doctor amidst a health crisis. We’d like to invite you to take a look around the website and check out our experience. If you feel comfortable, we’d love to hear from you and discuss how we can help you manage your thyroid challenges.

Your Thyroid and the Obesity Cycle 

By | Endocrinology

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located in the throat. It is responsible for regulating metabolism. Hormones released by the thyroid gland are essential to the way your body uses energy. A sluggish thyroid can cause increased weight gain and difficulty losing weight. However, moderate to severe weight gain can also cause thyroid conditions.

How Thyroid Conditions Cause Obesity

A properly functioning thyroid is important for weight loss. Since the thyroid regulates metabolism, any condition that interrupts proper thyroid function can contribute to weakness, fatigue, and weight gain. There are two ways your thyroid can contribute to weight gain.

  • Hypothyroidism is any condition which causes the thyroid to produce too little of the hormones needed for proper metabolism.
  • Hyperthyroidism is any condition that causes the thyroid to overproduce thyroid hormones. While these conditions often cause weight loss, they can cause your body to burn calories so quickly that you are often hungry and overeat.

Since hypothyroidism causes the thyroid to become less active, it is the most common reason patients with thyroid problems experience obesity. There are many factors that lead to these conditions.

  • Autoimmune disorders are conditions in which the immune system mistakes healthy cells for diseases. Some of these disorders affect the thyroid gland. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an inflammatory autoimmune condition, and the most common disorder causing hypothyroidism.
  • Radiation therapy used to treat tumors in the head and neck can cause hypothyroidism.
  • Treatment for hyperthyroidism can occasionally reduce thyroid function too much, causing permanent hypothyroidism.
  • Previous thyroid surgery can require a large amount or even total removal of the thyroid. These patients must take thyroid hormones.
  • Medications can cause an underactive thyroid. Lithium is the most common.

How Obesity Contributes to Thyroid Conditions

Your thyroid condition may not be the cause of your obesity. Sometimes, obesity is the cause, or at least a major contributor, to a thyroid condition. Recent studies suggest that obesity may cause thyroid dysfunction.

Excess fat can alter the structure and activity of the thyroid and possibly lead to autoimmune disorders. Obesity also carries inflammatory properties that can slow thyroid function. There is evidence that thyroid function returns to normal in children after weight loss.

Hypothyroidism Symptoms

Weight gain is not the only symptom of hypothyroidism. There are many other health issues that arise with the condition. Untreated hypothyroidism can lead to serious complications including heart problems, infertility, and mental issues. Hypothyroidism in pregnant women can affect the developing baby. If you think you are suffering from a thyroid disorder, it is important to get a diagnosis from your endocrinologist. Symptoms of hypothyroidism may include:

  • Dry skin.
  • Fatigue.
  • Changes in menstrual cycle.
  • Weight gain.
  • Sensitivity to cold.
  • low heart rate.
  • Goiter or swelling of the thyroid gland.
  • Depression.
  • Dry hair and hair loss.
  • Constipation.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome.

Diagnosis

Since hypothyroidism is most common in older women, a thyroid screening may occur with a routine physical exam. Pregnant women may also be tested as a precaution.

Diagnosis is based on symptoms and the amount of certain hormones found in the blood. In the past, hypothyroidism was difficult to diagnose until symptoms were fairly advanced. Now a blood test can detect levels of a pituitary hormone called TSH. The pituitary gland produces more TSH in an effort to stimulate an underactive thyroid gland. Elevated TSH and low levels of a thyroid hormone called thyroxine are an indication of hypothyroidism.

If your medical history and blood tests lead to underactive diagnosis, imaging tests will usually follow. Imaging tests may help determine whether nodules are present or the size of a goiter. Some imaging tests can help determine hormone production of the pituitary gland. Required imaging tests may include:

  • Ultrasound – An ultrasound of the thyroid may reveal a goiter or nodules on the thyroid. The test can determine size of the growth or if it has features that indicate cancer.
  • Needle biopsy – Occasionally, a needle biopsy may be necessary to gather cells from a nodule. The cells can then be examined under a microscope.
  • MRI – MRI or magnetic resonance imaging may be used to study the brain and the pituitary gland. An MRI may be used to discover a tumor affecting the pituitary gland.

Your doctor may need to rule out other conditions before diagnosing hypothyroidism. The symptoms of underactive thyroid vary widely, and may be easily missed or misdiagnosed. Other possible conditions may include anemia, fibromyalgia, or sleep apnea.

If you are suffering from obesity related to a thyroid problem, a Tampa endocrinologist can help. A specialized team of doctors will examine your medical history, run tests, and apply targeted treatment to heal your personal thyroid issues.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis In Depth

By | Uncategorized

One of the most common thyroid disorders is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, also known as autoimmune thyroiditis. Although it can affect anyone regardless of age and gender, the typical patient with this condition is a woman between the ages of 30 and 50.

Background

The thyroid gland is shaped like a butterfly and sits below the Adam’s apple in front of the neck. Two hormones are released from the thyroid that regulates several important body functions. Some of these functions are metabolism, body temperature, muscle strength, weight, skin dryness, levels of cholesterol, and menstruation.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis results when the immune system attacks the thyroid. As a result, the thyroid produces less hormone (also referred to as hypothyroidism). This process usually occurs over several months or even years before symptoms are significant enough to be noticed.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis are fatigue, an enlarged thyroid (also called a goiter), constipation, dry and thinning hair, depression, constantly feeling cold, and irregular or heavy menses.

Diagnosis

A combination of a physical exam, medical history, and blood tests are used most often to diagnose Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. The blood tests measure the levels of thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH), T4, and antithyroid antibody. When the TSH and antithyroid antibody levels are higher than normal while the T4 levels are lower than normal, this usually indicates a patient has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Less frequently, an ultrasound or a computerized tomography (CT) scan are used to confirm a diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is usually simple and effective. Synthetic T4, also known as thyroxine, is the standard course of treatment. Levels of thyroxine are regularly monitored with blood tests and the dosage is adjusted as necessary.

If you are in the Tampa area and experience the symptoms mentioned above, please contact your endocrinologist to get a diagnosis and begin treatment.

Handling Hashimoto’s Thyoiditis: A Condition You Can Manage

By | Endocrinology

When all is going well, you probably don’t think too much about your thyroid. The hormones that this gland releases, however, contribute to many important bodily functions. These include, but are not limited to, breathing, controlling your heart rate, regulating your body temperature and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder that attacks thyroid tissue, making it difficult or impossible for your thyroid to function properly. Fortunately, Hashimoto’s is easily treatable.

What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
In people with Hashimoto’s, the body turns on itself an attacks thyroid tissue in the same way it does bacteria and viruses. This causes the thyroid to become inflamed and irritated. Most people don’t feel any pain or discomfort in the thyroid area directly, but that doesn’t mean you won’t notice a problem. Inflamed thyroid tissue struggles to function and often can’t do so. As a result, the thyroid releases less of the hormones the body requires. This leads to a wide variety of problems and symptoms throughout the body, many of which you can easily mistake for something other than thyroid trouble.

Causes of Hashimoto’s
Doctors and scientists don’t know for sure what causes Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Some feel that bacteria and viruses trigger the condition while others blame genetic flaws. Women experience Hashimoto’s seven times more oftenthan men, suggesting that hormones may play a role. Other theories include excessive amounts of iodine in the body and radiation exposure. Age plays a role, as well, with most new cases of Hashimoto’s diagnosed in middle age.

Hashimoto’s Symptoms
In its early stages, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis often fails to cause any symptoms. You may also feel fine but notice unexplained swelling in your throat. You’re also likely to feel tired and run down. Other symptoms include:

  • Puffiness in the face
  • Difficulty getting and staying warm
  • Constipation
  • Brittle nails
  • Hair loss
  • Stiff joints
  • Muscle weakness
  • Enlargement of the tongue
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Excessively long menstruation

As you can see, the symptoms of Hashimoto’s are quite varied and you can easily mistake some of them for other issues. This disease may also present as hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland) because the inflammation limits the thyroid’s ability to function. While these issues by themselves don’t always point to thyroid problems, it’s important to visit your doctor if you’re experiencing them. If your doctor can’t find the cause, it’s time to see an endocrinologist.

Diagnosis
Diagnosing Hashimoto’s thyroiditis requires medical testing. Your Tampa endocrinologist will perform blood test to check the amount of thyroid hormone in your blood. If your thyroid isn’t working properly because of Hashimoto’s, your thyroid hormone levels will test low while your pituitary hormone levels will read high. This happens because your pituitary gland will increase hormone production in an attempt to stimulate your thyroid and spur it to action.

Your doctor will also check your blood for certain antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that your body makes when you fight an infection. These antibodies attach bacteria and viruses to keep you safe and healthy. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an immune disorder in which your body will make antibodies that erroneously attack the body’s own tissue. Your doctor will look for specific thyroid-attacking antibodies as part of the diagnostic process.

Thyroid Treatment
In mild cases of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, your doctor may suggest doing nothing. So long as your thyroid continues functioning properly, he may see no reason to intervene. Instead, he’ll likely monitor you with periodic blood tests to keep an eye on your thyroid in case you need treatment in the future.

If you need treatment now, your doctor will prescribe synthetic hormones to boost your levels and restore balance in your body. You will receive this medication through a pill or as a periodic injection. Although you should expect to need this medication for the rest of your life, it will regulate your hormone without intrusive side effects or the need for surgery or more complicated treatments. When treatment begins, your endocrinologist will want to see you for a blood test in a few weeks to make sure your medication dosage is correct. After this initial dosage verification, you’ll likely need annual blood tests. If your Hashimotos’ progresses over time, your doctor will adjust your medication dosage as needed.

Complications
After a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, it’s crucial that you follow your endocrinologist’s instructions and take your medication as prescribed. Hashimoto’s is fairly easy to control with a drug regimen, but it can cause serious complications if left untreated. You could develop a large mass called a goiter in your throat. Goiters are unsightly and can interfere with swallowing and breathing. Because thyroid hormones help regulate cholesterol, a lack of them can increase your LDL (bad) cholesterol and lead to heart problems.

Pregnant women with uncontrolled Hashimoto’s experience an increase in the likelihood of birth defects and anyone can develop depression or other mental health issues. Although rare, people with untreated Hashimoto’s may also experience a life-threatening medical emergency known as myxedema. Triggered by stress on the body such as cold temperatures or infection, myxedema causes extreme drowsiness and lethargy followed by unconsciousness and possible death.

Although Hashimoto’s disease can cause serious problems and complications if left untreated, it’s easy to diagnose with simple blood tests and just as easy to treat. if you’re feeling under the weather and can’t figure out why, visit a local Tampa endocrinologist to check your thyroid. The sooner you get the answers you need, the sooner you can get back to feeling good and living a healthy life.

Detecting and Treating Thyroid Problems

By | Endocrinology

The thyroid gland is a small but vital organ that has immense power over the human body. Similarly, a disorder in the thyroid can have some serious implications to your health. An endocrinologist is a doctor who specializes in detecting and treating thyroid problems. Such specialty services are available from the physicians at Bayarea Endrocrinology in Tampa.

Understanding the Thyroid Gland

Wrapped around the windpipe, the thyroid is located in close proximity to the voice box. It is part of the human endocrine system, which means it produces hormones that in many ways affect the functioning of the body. These functions include your appetite, the absorption of nutrients, regulation of the heart and the control of your sleep patterns. The thyroid plays a particularly important role during the adolescent period, when the body is rapidly growing and undergoing other physical changes. The defective operation of the gland can result from different factors and create different types of health problems.

The Effects of a Dysfunctional Thyroid

The thyroid itself is controlled by a hormone that is produced elsewhere in the body. A disruption in this hormone can thus cause improper production by the thyroid. The gland can also be affected by tumors that, in a relatively small number of cases, can be cancerous. Excessive hormone production by the thyroid, known as hyperthyroidism, can lead to such conditions as loss of appetite, insomnia and muscle weakness. An underactive gland, known as hypothyroidism, can have similar or different effects, including abnormal weight gain and a reduced heart rate.

Treating a Defective Thyroid

An endocrinologist will use different techniques to check the thyroid and determine whether it is functioning properly. The simplest method involves a visual examination and the feeling of the neck area. An enlarged thyroid, a condition known as a goiter, may at that point be obvious. Blood tests and even ultrasound equipment can also be used in detecting thyroid deficiencies. Anyone living in the Tampa area who suspects a thyroid problem should turn to the type of services available from the experts at Bayarea Endocrinology. Visit them at https://thyroiddoctortampa.com.

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