Thyroid & Metabolic Conditions

Your thyroid, or thyroid gland (located in the neck area), plays a major role in controlling how quickly your body uses energy. It also is responsible for making proteins and it controls your sensitivity to various hormones. Because the thyroid has a direct effect on the heart and other organs, it’s very important that it functions as it should.

How it works

The production of the hormones triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), and calcitonin is carried out by the thyroid. These hormones aid organs such as the spleen, liver, and kidney and spleen. Brain cells are a major target for the thyroid hormones T3 and T4 and these hormones are particularly critical to the development of the fetus. The thyroid also plays a role in calcium levels in the blood and aids in a child’s growth and development.

Diagnosis

Typically, there are two thyroid conditions that require attention: “hyperthyroidism,” defined by an over-active thyroid gland, and “hypothyroidism” which occurs when the gland is under active. Here are symptoms and indicators of each:

Hyperthyroidism (over active thyroid)
  • Quick pulse, even when resting
  • Inability to sleep
  • Nervousness or becoming over emotional
  • Heart palpitations
  • Night sweats
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Weight loss
Hypothyroidism (under active thyroid)
  • Lack of motivation
  • Weight gain
  • Lack of mental acuity
  • Fatigue
  • Cold feet and/or hands
  • Depression
  • Dry skin or scalp
  • Change in bowel movements
  • Headaches (mostly in the morning)

Treatment

Traditional treatments such as beta blockers to reduce symptoms are used and anti thyroid drugs that block thyroid hormones are sometimes recommended. In most cases, these drugs need to be taken frequently (such as one pill every eight hours) so some patients look for other treatments (surgery is used in difficult cases). Hypothyroidism is often treated with hormone replacement therapy. In many cases, it takes a few weeks for drugs to become effective.
If you would like to have more information or to set up a consultation and see how we can help you (or someone you know) reduce the effects of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, give us a call at (704) 987-3993 to schedule an appointment.