A healthy thyroid is essential for optimal well-being. It’s an important endocrine gland located in your neck just above your collar bone which produces hormones that control many bodily activities, including your heart rate and weight. Thyroid problems can change your body’s metabolism and impact your overall health in a variety of ways.
To properly diagnose thyroid problems and diseases, it’s essential to see an endocrinologist in boca raton who can perform a physical exam. Your doctor will want to discuss your medical history and possibly perform some thyroid tests to determine how well your thyroid is working. Thyroid tests typically include imaging tests and blood tests that are helpful for proper diagnosis of many common thyroid problems such as:
- Nodules – lumps in the thyroid gland
- Thyroiditis – swelling of the thyroid
- Goiter – enlargement of the thyroid gland
- Hyperthyroidism – over-production of thyroid hormones
- Hypothyroidism – under-production of thyroid hormones
- Thyroid cancer
Hyperthyroidism, a common thyroid problem, is seen more often in women and adults over 60 years of age. The most common cause is an autoimmune disorder called Graves’ disease, but it can also be caused by thyroid nodules and thyroiditis. A primary symptom is weight loss for no apparent reason, but it can also cause fatigue and muscle weakness, hand tremors, mood swings, heat intolerance, sleeping problems, and irregular or fast heartbeat.
Hypothyroidism also affects more women than men, as well as adults over 60 years of age. The most common cause in an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s disease, but it can also be caused by thyroid nodules, thyroiditis, certain medicines, and radiation treatment and/or surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid gland. Common symptoms include weight gain, a puffy face, joint and muscle pain, cold intolerance, decreased sweating, slow heart rate, fertility problems, and depression.
If your doctor suspects thyroid cancer, a biopsy may be necessary for proper diagnosis. Depending on the the results of the biopsy, your doctor may prescribe certain medicines, radioactive iodine therapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or thyroid surgery to deal with the specific problem. If you suspect a thyroid problem, see your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.