Spotting the Warning Signs of a Thyroid Disorder

Over 20 million people in the United States currently live with thyroid disease. Proper thyroid function is critical to growth and metabolism, potentially causing health disruptions that disproportionately affect women. Your risk of thyroid problems also increases as you get older. 

Dr. Rajesh B. Dave and the team at Gulf West Medical Associates specialize in the treatment of thyroid problems. They understand the signs and symptoms of thyroid disorders and they can treat you when your thyroid over or under-produces its critical hormones. Knowing the warning signs of a thyroid disorder can help you seek treatment sooner, minimizing the impact on your life.

The role of the thyroid

A small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the middle front of your neck, the thyroid can be found by placing your fingers on either side of your Adam's apple as you swallow. When functioning properly, the thyroid gland maintains the proper balance of hormones needed to keep your metabolism functioning normally by producing the correct levels of hormones T3 and T4.

The thyroid is controlled by the pituitary gland at the center of your skull below the brain. Recognizing the levels of hormones present in your bloodstream, the pituitary gland signals the thyroid to create replacements. 

When your thyroid overproduces hormones, your body uses energy faster than it should, a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Underproduction results in hypothyroidism, a condition where the body uses energy at a slower rate than normal. 

Signs of thyroid disorder

When you have hyperthyroidism, you can experience symptoms like: 

Common signs of hypothyroidism include: 

Diagnosing thyroid conditions can be difficult, since other conditions may cause similar symptoms. Choosing a thyroid specialist like Dr. Dave helps ensure an accurate diagnosis. 

Thyroid warning signs

As well as more immediate symptoms, you can develop health patterns that may reveal a thyroid disorder, such as: 

Constant fatigue

Fatigue is common with hypothyroidism. Since thyroid hormones are responsible for regulating your energy balance, patients with low thyroid functions tend to feel exhausted, while high activity induces jittery feelings. Low-thyroid patients often feel exhausted and may have difficulty with motivation to complete daily activities. 

Fluctuating weight

Metabolic dysfunction in individuals suffering from hypothyroidism often causes weight gain, even without changes to diet. Symptoms of fatigue may compound their weight gain by reducing normal levels of activity. The energy they use during a resting state, called the basal metabolic rate, also decreases. People with hyperthyroidism may experience the opposite, experiencing rapid and sudden weight loss. 

Aching muscles and joints

Hypothyroidism may cause your body to use muscle tissue for energy. Decreasing muscle mass and strength gradually triggers weakness and aching. Patients suffering from low thyroid hormones are more likely to experience muscle cramps.

Correcting thyroid imbalance issues takes effort, since each patient responds to treatment in a unique way. Contact Gulf West Medical Associates by phone or online to request an appointment when you feel it’s time to investigate your thyroid function. Early treatment gives the best results, so book your consultation today.   

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