The thyroid gland affects your body’s metabolic processes, so thyroid disorders can have a huge impact on your health. Dr. Sara Doolin-Thompson, DNP, and the team at Wesleyan Medical Practice treat hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroid cancer. Don’t allow a thyroid disorder to affect your quality of life. Call the office in Owensboro, Kentucky, or request an appointment online today.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of your throat, below the Adam’s apple. It can barely be felt when your thyroid is healthy and of normal size. But, if you have a thyroid disorder, the gland may become enlarged.
Common thyroid disorders usually involve improper production of the thyroid hormones. Too little production of thyroid hormone is called hypothyroidism, while overproduction of thyroid hormones is classified as hyperthyroidism. It’s also possible to develop a life-threatening cancer of the thyroid gland.
Hashimoto’s thyroid disease is an autoimmune condition. Your body creates antibodies that damage your thyroid gland and lead to a decreased production of thyroid hormones or hypothyroidism.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. Why people develop this condition isn’t completely understood.
With Hashimoto’s thyroid disease, you may experience the following symptoms:
Your Wesleyan Medical Practice provider and team treat Hashimoto's disease with synthetic replacement hormones. You take the medication orally, and the dosage is customized to your needs.
Graves’ disease is another autoimmune disease in which the thyroid is overstimulated by certain antibodies. But with Graves’, the thyroid becomes enlarged and produces too much thyroid hormone, causing hyperthyroidism.
If you have Grave’s disease, you may experience the following symptoms:
Treatment for Graves’ disease depends on your particular symptoms and the severity of the condition. You may be given anti-thyroid medications that suppress the production of thyroid hormones. Radioactive iodine treatments and surgery may also be explored as treatment options in certain cases.
Although thyroid disorders are very common, thyroid cancer is extremely rare. Thyroid cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow within the thyroid gland. It’s usually caught early enough for full treatment and resolution.
Often, the cancer doesn’t present with any symptoms and is simply discovered upon an annual appointment when the doctor identifies a lump or swelling at your neck.
Other symptoms of the cancer may include:
Treatment for thyroid cancer includes surgery and radioactive iodine. Most people with thyroid cancer don’t have to have radiation treatment or chemotherapy unless the cancer has progressed to an advanced stage.
To find out more about thyroid disorders and how to best care for your thyroid health, schedule an appointment over the phone or online at Wesleyan Medical Practice today.