Why is Your Thyroid Gland So Important?

By Uncategorized

Your thyroid is a gland that is found in the lower, front section of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. It wraps around the windpipe (trachea) and supports the voice box (larynx). It is a rich source of blood vessels, and it has a shape that resembles a butterfly because of its two side lobes that are joined in the middle by a bridge (isthmus).

The function of the thyroid gland is to manufacture and store the body’s important hormones that support the internal regulation of your body temperature, blood pressure levels, and the heartbeat rhythm. These hormones circulate through the bloodstream and impact the performance of every tissue and cell. The thyroid gland hormones also play a significant role in your growth pattern, metabolism, and the conversion rate of food into energy.

Iodine is the main component that enables the thyroid to make two vital hormones known as T4 (Thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine). A third important hormone made by the thyroid is calcitonin. This hormone activates bone cells to increase bone calcium. The pituitary gland is an endocrine gland that is located at the base of the brain and weighs less than 2 ounces. This gland signals the thyroid gland during the production of hormones by a system called TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone).

When the pituitary and thyroid glands are working properly, there are no adverse effects. However, higher TSH signals from the pituitary gland resulting in lower thyroid performance. Lower pituitary TSH signals will result in higher thyroid performance. Low levels of thyroid hormones are known as hypothyroidism, and it causes your body’s systems to slow down. Conversely, high levels of thyroid hormones are known as hyperthyroidism, and it causes nervousness, irritability, and rapid heart rhythms.

Thyroid disorders manifest in many forms. Some symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland include swelling in the thyroid area, tiredness, brain fog, constipation, weight gain, and sore muscles. Some symptoms of an overactive thyroid gland include anxiety, fast heartbeat rate, diarrhea, weight loss, frequent perspiration, and increased risk of diabetes.

If you have any doubt that you, or a loved one, may have a malfunctioning thyroid gland, it can be diagnosed by a visit with a board certified Tampa Endocrinologist, . A defective thyroid can sidetrack your normal performance. The sooner you have a thyroid disorder treated, the sooner you’ll be back on track.

How to Choose the Right Endocrinologist for You

By Endocrinology

Hormones have control or influence over most of our body functions. Energy levels, growth, and reproductive health are all dependent on the right hormones being secreted at the right time. Even our mental health and mood are affected by the presence of these potent biochemicals.

Hormonal imbalances can become chronic and lead to drastic changes in the way you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally. Choosing an endocrinologist providing prompt, comprehensive, and competent care throughout all phases of treatment is crucial. In addition, hormones affect the most private and sensitive functions of our bodies. Finding a specialist with whom you feel relaxed and comfortable is also important. Here are suggestions to consider.

Ask your Primary Care Doctor

Your family doctor can be an excellent starting point in your search. Primary care doctors relate to endocrinologists frequently. They also share treatment plans and outcomes with one another. Choosing a specialist your general practitioner recommends may also ensure better communication and coordination when managing chronic conditions.

Consult Association Directories

Every specialty has their own association. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has provider searches within a certain-mile radius of your location to assist you. In addition, there are also websites, such as Healthgrades, which supply vital information regarding schooling, certifications, specific areas of interest, and gender. Many of these sites also supply reviews and testimonials from patients they have served, providing insight as to bedside manner, responsiveness, and attentiveness.

Call Your Insurance Company

Choosing an in-network provider will save you both time and money, allowing you to concentrate on your treatment and recovery. Many people choose this as a starting point when conducting their search.

Research Hospital Affiliation and On-site Services

Hospital access may be required either as an inpatient or for outpatient services. Research hospitals in your area to determine which offer the highest standards and best outcomes for your condition. Many hospitals have physician referral services to connect you with endocrinologists affiliated with their system. Look for physicians performing their own testing and treatment services. Specialists with on-site labs can offer the convenience of managing your condition in-house.

Bay Area Endocrinology Associates in Tampa, Florida specializes in a comprehensive treatment approach for all thyroid conditions. On-site lab, and ultrasound services are provided, meaning shorter wait times and fewer trips to off-site diagnosing facilities. Specialty services are also available for other metabolic conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, and other hormone deficiencies.

Thyroid Disorders: Too Fast or Too Slow

By Endocrinology

The Thyroid is the Body’s Gas Pedal

The thyroid gland is the body’s accelerator. It controls the speed of your internal body functions, known as your metabolism, by secreting hormones which speed things up. When your body needs to slow down, the thyroid decreases the production of these hormones. Another gland in the brain, the pituitary gland, keeps tabs on the thyroid and secretes its own stimulator to motivate production when levels are low. Disorders and diseases mainly affect the amounts of hormones produced in two ways: too much or too little. The result is a metabolism that is too fast or too slow.

Too Much Means Too Fast

When your thyroid is producing too much of its hormones, you have a condition known as hyperthyroidism. The easiest way to remember symptoms associated with the condition is the word, “hyper.” Metabolism is abnormally fast, and you will probably feel restless, agitated, and anxious. You will have trouble sleeping and may lie awake with your mind racing, regardless of how tired you are. You may shake. Your heart will race, and you may feel hot even though your AC is set to turn your house into a deep freeze. You also use the bathroom more frequently and will lose weight although you can’t stop eating. Your endocrinologist will probably perform tests to rule out Grave’s Disease and examine your neck for lumps and bumps known as adenomas or nodules. You may also experience neck swelling referred to as a goiter. It is very important to see your doctor as a potential crisis may occur that can threaten your life known as thyroid storm.

Too Little Means Too Slow

Hypothyroidism is the exact opposite. It results from an under-producing thyroid. It is easier to remember, “hypo rhymes with low and metabolism is slow,” when describing the symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms of an underactive thyroid, you will feel tired, you will have no energy, and may even be sad. Mood swings are common. The fact that you are gaining weight regardless of how little you eat, make them even worse. You will feel cold a lot, and everyone may wonder why you are wearing a sweater in July. Everything seems to slow down, even your bowel habits. You may forget things and feel weak. Your endocrinologist will perform tests to rule out causes such as Hashimoto’s Disease or thyroid tumors.

Pedro I. Toya of Bay Area Endocrinologist Associates offers comprehensive services to treat thyroid disorders. He does all his laboratory testing and diagnostics on site offering a one-stop center. In addition, services for advanced metabolic conditions, diabetes, and weight management are available.

Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism: Which One Do I Have?

By Endocrinology

Overview Of Thyroid Disorders

If you’re one of the approximately 14 million people in the U.S. who have an undiagnosed thyroid disorder, you may be wondering why you’re always tired, or why you’ve lost weight when there are no other mitigating factors. Your problems may stem from a thyroid disorder. A normally functioning thyroid produces hormones that help keep your body in homeostasis, which means that all of your systems are working together to maintain a healthy body. The two hormones that your thyroid gland produces are called triiodothyronine, orT3, and tetraiodothyronine, or T4. These hormones regulate bowel function, pulse rate, temperature sensitivity, metabolism, and other body functions. When the thyroid doesn’t produce enough of these two hormones, it’s called hypothyroidism; when it produces too much of them, it’s called hypothyroidism. Grave’s disease is the most common presentation of hypothyroidism and you may notice additional symptoms such as bulging eyeballs, vision problems, ridges in your fingernails, and thickening of the skin near the ankles.

Do You Have Hypothyroidism Or Hyperthyroidism?

If you have hypothyroidism, you may be experiencing the following symptoms:

-Exhaustion, no matter how much sleep you get

-Unexplained aches and pains in your joints and muscles

-Dry skin

-Intolerance to cold temperatures

-Constipation

-Depression

-Brittle fingernails and hair

 

If you have hyperthyroidism, you may be experiencing the following symptoms:

-Tiredness

-Inability to concentrate

-Increase in your appetite

-Enlarged thyroid gland/swelling at the base of the neck

-Insomnia or trouble sleeping

-Agitation and/or nervousness

-Intolerance to heat

-Increased bowel function

-Increased perspiration

-Trembling hands

-Weight loss that’s not attributable to other factors

-Increased pulse rate

 

What Causes Thyroid Disorders?

Thyroid disorders are an autoimmune function and statistically, those who have one autoimmune disorder are more likely to develop another autoimmune disorder. Arthritis, for example, is an autoimmune disorder so if you have arthritis, you may be more prone to develop another autoimmune disorder, such as thyroid disease. Autoimmune disorders occur when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your own cells because it perceives them as invaders. Antibodies are released and this results in inflammation and cell damage to the area.

Although the exact cause of autoimmune disorders isn’t yet known, medical science speculates it to be a combination of both environmental and genetic factors. Thyroid disease isn’t thought to be contagious, but if one family member has it, it’s more than likely that another family member will develop it. One twin is 30 percent more likely to develop Grave’s disease if the other twin has it, and those who live in the same household are more likely to develop the disease even though they aren’t biologically related.

 

How Are Thyroid Disorders Diagnosed And Treated?

In order to confirm a diagnosis of a thyroid disorder, your endocrinologist will order a blood test, which will indicate whether your T3 and T4 levels are too high or too low. If they’re too high, it may indicate you have a hyperactive thyroid, if they’re too low, it may indicate that you have an underactive thyroid. Other test options may include a radio iodine uptake test or a thyroid scan.

Treatment of hypothyroidism is simpler than treatment of hyperthyroidism. If you have hypothyroidism, your endocrinologist may prescribe additional thyroid hormone for you to take on a daily basis. This will supply the necessary hormones to your body and should alleviate many of your symptoms. You’ll most likely need periodic blood tests to ensure that your level of thyroid hormone is adequate for your endocrine system. Lifestyle changes such as pregnancy, weight loss or gain, activity decrease or increase, and many other factors have the potential to change your requirement of thyroid hormones, so following your endocrinologist’s recommendation for blood tests is important.

Treatment of hyperthyroidism is more complex. In the past, surgery was sometimes used to remove the hyperactive thyroid but modern medicine typically uses less invasive procedures. Since there are limited ways to make an overactive thyroid less active, it’s usually treated with either radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid medication. Radioactive iodine is administered orally and may require some safety precautions but it isn’t absorbed by other cells in the body. The objective of the radioactive iodine treatment is to kill some of the thyroid cells so that the overall production of thyroid hormone is reduced. There’s the possibility, however, that too many thyroid cells will be eliminated and the body will then be in a state of hypothyroidism. To date, there’s been no evidence that use of the radioactive iodine pill causes cancer.

Anti-thyroid medications take longer to be effective because they gradually slow your thyroid’s production of hormones to a normal level. Sometimes this is a permanent cure and sometimes it isn’t. This method also takes longer than the radioactive iodine treatment, sometimes up to a year, and there’s the possibility of a relapse. These medications can have side effects and may not be appropriate for everyone.

Those who live in the Tampa area and have additional questions about their thyroid symptoms can contact Bay Area Endocrinology and schedule an appointment or have their questions answered by one of our friendly and caring staff. Dr. Pedro Troya and Dr. Carlos Fumero specialize in the treatment of all types of thyroid disorders, including cancer and complex metabolic issues. Multiple locations ensure that there’s an office near you that will help you find a solution to your thyroid issues.

5 Reasons Why You Should See a Tampa Endocrinologist

By Endocrinology

According to some estimates, more than 30 million people have thyroid disorders. Half of these people have issues that are undiagnosed. This blog post will reveal 5 symptoms of a possible thyroid condition. If you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms on this list, visit a Tampa endocrinologist right away.

  1. Feeling a Little Low
    Have you been feeling a little blue lately? Some experts think that when your body produces a lower amount of thyroid hormone, this negatively affects the serotonin levels in your brain. Serotonin is a chemical that affects your mood, so when lower amounts of the thyroid hormone slows everything down, it’s easy to understand why you may be feeling a little “blah.”
  2. You’re Dealing With Excess Fatigue
    Excess fatigue can often be linked to hypothyroidism, a disorder that comes about when your body produces too little of the thyroid You might want to see an endocrinologist if you’re still tired after 8-9 hours of sleep.
  3. You’re Feeling Very Anxious Lately
    The constant feeling of being “wired” and extra “jittery” is often associated with hyperthyroidism. This disorder occurs when your thyroid gland produces too much of its hormone.
  4. You’re Suffering From Brain Fog
    When your thyroid isn’t functioning well, your cognitive functioning can become compromised. Hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) can cause you to have trouble concentrating while hypothyroidism (too little hormone) can cause brain fog.
  5. You Have Dry Skin
    Dry and itchy skin can be a result of hypothyroidism. Your skin can change its textures and appearance due to a slowed down metabolism, which can happen when your body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. When this happens, you don’t sweat as much. This lack of moisture can cause your skin to become flaky and dry.

If you’re dealing with excess fatigue, the jitters, a change in cognitive functioning, or have an extreme change in the appearance of your skin, schedule a visit with your Tampa endocrinologist. They can take your medical history, run tests, and use their specialized knowledge to treat your particular thyroid issues.

Key Things To Know About Hypothyroidism

By Endocrinology

What is Hypothyroidism?

Your thyroid produces a hormone called thyroxine. This hormone keeps all of the metabolic functions in your body working properly. An underactive thyroid is a problem that occurs when the body does not produce enough thyroxine. The body functions will be slowed down if your thyroid is underactive.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

The symptoms of hypothyroidism are often caused by the low levels of thyroxine in the body. Many of the functions in the body will slow down. Some people do not have any symptoms. However, if a person does have symptoms, then they are likely to experience the following:

  • Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Dry skin
  • Lifeless hair
  • Depression
  • Feeling cold

Less Common Symptoms

  • Irregular periods in women
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Memory loss
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

It is important to note that there are other health conditions that can cause these symptoms. Many people notice that their symptoms start off mild and then gradually worsen. It is important to see an endrocrinologist in Tampa if you notice any strange symptoms.

Causes

The exact causes of hypothyroidism are not known. However, this condition is more common in women and people who are over the age of 60. There are also some health conditions that can put a person at risk for hypothyroidism including thyroid surgery, autoimmune disease, certain medications and radiation therapy. Iodine deficiency is another thing that can contribute to hypothyroidism.

Pregnant women are at a higher risk for developing hypothyroidism. This condition may also develop shortly after pregnancy. Pregnant women produce hormones antibodies that can cause hypothyroidism. Pregnant women with hypothyroidism are more likely to have a miscarriage. It can also increase the risk of pregnancy complications.

Thyroid Nodules

By Endocrinology

Thyroid nodules are abnormal growths that form lumps on the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland that is located in the lower front portion of your neck. These growths are very common and no one yet knows the cause of them. In cases of hypothyroidism, there is a higher risk of nodules growing. Fortunately, most nodules are benign and do not contain cancer. However, in rare cases, they can be cancerous.

Thyroid nodules typically do not have any symptoms. It is important to know that many thyroid tests may have normal results, despite having cancerous nodules present. This is why it is vital to be sure your doctor examines your neck and feels your thyroid gland during your routine visits. Many nodules can be felt by a professional. Ultrasounds of the thyroid can be performed to get a closer look at the gland and any nodules it may contain. In rare cases, nodules can grow large enough to be plainly visible by the eye or cause pain, difficulty breathing, or difficulty swallowing.

If nodules are present, a blood test and ultrasound may be ordered to check the function of the thyroid overall as well as any suspicious features of the nodules themselves. Nodules may also be biopsied by a fine needle in a nearly painless and simple procedure. Most times, no cancer is found and nodules can be left alone unless they are large enough to cause difficulty breathing or swallowing. However, if cancer is found, it may be determined that the best course of action is to remove the thyroid.

At Bay Area Endocrinology Associates, we are a team of endocrinologistswho specialize in all thyroid-related disorders including but not limited to: nodules, cancer, and overactive and under-active thyroidfunction. We also focus on a number of other metabolic disorders. We are located in Tampa, Florida. Please give us a call if you have any metabolic or thyroid concerns.

Get the Facts About Osteoporosis

By Endocrinology

Osteoporosis is a type of bone disease that occurs when too much bone is lost, not enough bone is made or a combination of both. This causes the bones to weaken and puts patients at high risk for fractures. In the United States, approximately 54 million people have osteoporosis.

Exploring the Causes

When healthy, the bones look like a honeycomb when viewed under a microscope. When this condition is present, however, the holes that can be viewed are much larger. They have lost mass or density and contain a tissue structure that is abnormal. Once someone is in their early 20s, they have reached peak bone mass. The bones are constantly renewing themselves and as old bone breaks down, new bone is made. However, as aging occurs, the creation of new bone does not keep up with the breaking down of old bone, resulting in a loss of bone mass.

There are certain risk factors that people have no control over that increase the chances of developing this condition. These include being female, being of Asian descent or white, having a smaller body frame, being older or having a family history of osteoporosis. The following are additional risk factors that someone has some control over:

  • Lowered sex hormone levels
  • Overactive adrenal or parathyroid glands
  • Too much thyroid hormone
  • Eating disorders
  • Not getting enough calcium
  • Gastrointestinal surgery
  • Certain medications, such as those for gastric reflux, transplant rejection, seizures or cancer
  • Certain medical condition, such as celiac disease, liver or kidney disease, lupus, multiple myeloma, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Tobacco use

Learning About the Symptoms

In the early stages, it is common for patients to experience no symptoms. However, as the weakening of the bones progresses, it is possible to experience:

  • Back pain associated with a collapsed or fractured vertebra
  • Stooped posture
  • Over time, patients might lose some of their height
  • Bone fractures that occur with minimal trauma

Delving into the Diagnostic Process

Those concerned about their bone density should speak to their doctor or specialist, such as an endocrinologist. In most cases, the process starts with a bone density scan. This may involve the use of bone densitometry or dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Patients will be assessed both a Z score and T score. The Z score looks at a person’s bone amount compared to others in their age group. The T score looks at a person’s bone amount compared to younger people. Most commonly, the bones associated with the wrist, hip and spine are evaluated for this testing.

If a patient has a bone fracture or injury that prompted their osteoporosis evaluation, the following tests might also be discussed:

  • Spinal CT scan to look for fractures or abnormal alignment
  • Spinal MRI to look for signs of underlying disease that could have caused the problem, such as cancer, and to explore how new the fracture is
  • Bone x-ray to look for bone fractures

Examining the Treatment Options

There are treatment options available. Once it is determined that someone has osteoporosis, doctors often start by examining their lifestyle and general health. Ensuring that patients achieve a healthy body weight, get sufficient protein, have adequate vitamin D and calcium levels and get enough exercise are often explored. From here, medical interventions can be discussed.

Using the information obtained via testing, patients and their doctor can discuss their bone density and fracture risk to determine which type of treatment is needed. Those considered to be at a higher fracture risk might be prescribed bisphosphonate medications, such as alendronate, ibandronate, risedronate or zoledronic acid. These medications come in different options concerning their administration. Some are oral pills that are generally taken monthly or weekly, while others are injected yearly or quarterly.

If patients are not able to take bisphosphonate drugs, there are a couple of other options that might be explored. The first is denosumab which works similar to bisphosphonate medications. Every six months, patients have it administered via injection under the skin. The second is teriparatide which works similar to the parathyroid hormone. It is usually prescribed for two years and patients get an injection each day under the skin. After the two years is up, another drug for osteoporosis is usually given to maintain the bone growth achieved with teriparatide.

If hormones are contributing to a patient’s osteoporosis hormone therapy might be considered. For example, if a woman’s osteoporosis is linked to reduced estrogen levels, she might be prescribed estrogen replacement therapy. There are risks with estrogen, however, such as an increased risk of endometrial and breast cancer, and blood clots. Because of this, doctors might discuss drug raloxifene with their patients. It does not carry all of the risks of estrogen but mimics its beneficial effects. In men, if testosterone is low and contributing to osteoporosis, they too might consider hormone replacement therapy.

Patients who consume excessive amounts of alcohol or smoke might work with their doctor to make the necessary changes. Preventing falls is also important since fractures are more likely when bone density is reduced. Using mobility aids, and making changes at home, such as getting rid of throw rugs and installing grab bars can be beneficial.

Tampa residents over age 50 who break a bone or have other risk factors for this condition should consult their doctor or specialist. Testing bone density is not difficult and can provide a wealth of information about bone health, as well as let patients know if treatment should be considered

Hypothyroidism: Your Diet and Lifestyle

By Endocrinology

You’re among the 40 percent of the U.S. population who has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. You’ve undergone treatment for it, and you have regular blood tests to monitor your TSH levels. Everything should be fine then, right?

Maybe not. Your diet and lifestyle play an important role in maintaining good thyroid hormone levels, just as taking the proper dosage of thyroid medication are important. According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s important to eat a healthy, nourishing diet although there are stipulations.

Absorption of thyroid supplements may be hindered if the tablets are taken with a high-fiber meal. Foods or supplements that are high in iron should not be consumed with thyroid medication and the same applies to foods or supplements that are high in calcium, aluminum, or magnesium, some ulcer medications, and some drugs that lower cholesterol. The best option is to take the thyroid medication by itself on an empty stomach.

The current trend toward adding or eliminating cruciferous vegetables has no validity, according to doctors at the Mayo Clinic. Excessive consumption of these vegetables can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb iron, but enormous quantities would have to be consumed in order for that to happen.

One of the most important aspects to good thyroid health is to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle and a healthy, varied diet. Another important aspect is to consume adequate amounts of good quality water, which equates to about an eight-ounce glass per waking hour. Not only does this help with constipation, which can be an issue with hypothyroidism, it helps the lymphatic system flush the metabolic toxins out of the body.

Bone broth contains amino acids that can help prevent mineral deficiencies and may help improve the immune system.

Stress, hormonal changes, inflammation, poor diet, and overuse of prescription medications can trigger hypothyroidism, even if you’re on medication, so it’s important to eliminate these factors from your lifestyle, particularly if hypothyroidism runs in the family.

If you’re having problems with your thyroid or your body is telling you that something isn’t right, make an appointment with your Tampa endocrinologist right away.

5 Reasons Why You Should See a Tampa Endocrinologist

By Endocrinology

According to some estimates, more than 30 million people have thyroid disorders. Half of these people have issues that are undiagnosed. This blog post will reveal 5 symptoms of a possible thyroid condition. If you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms on this list, visit a Tampa endocrinologist right away.

Feeling a Little Low
Have you been feeling a little blue lately? Some experts think that when your body produces a lower amount of thyroid hormone, this negatively affects the serotonin levels in your brain. Serotonin is a chemical that affects your mood, so when lower amounts of the thyroid hormone slows everything down, it’s easy to understand why you may be feeling a little “blah.”
You’re Dealing With Excess Fatigue

Excess fatigue can often be linked to hypothyroidism, a disorder that comes about when your body produces too little of the thyroid hormone. You might want to see an endocrinologist if you’re still tired after 8-9 hours of sleep.

You’re Feeling Very Anxious Lately
The constant feeling of being “wired” and extra “jittery” is often associated with hyperthyroidism. This disorder occurs when your thyroid gland produces too much of its hormone.
You’re Suffering From Brain Fog

When your thyroid isn’t functioning well, your cognitive functioning can become compromised. Hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) can cause you to have trouble concentrating while hypothyroidism (too little hormone) can cause brain fog.

You Have Dry Skin
Dry and itchy skin can be a result of hypothyroidism. Your skin can change its textures and appearance due to a slowed down metabolism, which can happen when your body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. When this happens, you don’t sweat as much. This lack of moisture can cause your skin to become flaky and dry.

If you’re dealing with excess fatigue, the jitters, a change in cognitive functioning, or have an extreme change in the appearance of your skin, schedule a visit with your Tampa endocrinologist. They can take your medical history, run tests, and use their specialized knowledge to treat your particular thyroid issues.

For more info, be sure to check out our website at https://www.thyroiddoctortampa.com

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