If you’ve met with a general practitioner and they suggest that you might have an over or underactive thyroid, they might start talking about your endocrine system. But what exactly is the endocrine system? Many are familiar with their respiratory and nervous systems, but the endocrine system is one that isn’t often discussed unless your meeting with a thyroid surgeon. Before meeting with Dr. Kroeker at her clinic in Austin, it’s important to have an understanding of the endocrine system and what it does. This will help you in comprehending your need for thyroid or parathyroid surgery.
What Is The Thyroid?
The thyroid is a large gland that is located at the base of your neck. It is shaped like a pair of wings. This gland controls your metabolism. Your metabolism is responsible for the way your body uses energy and for regulating a myriad of body functions. The thyroid regulates functions like:
- Heart rate
- The central and peripheral nervous systems
- Your weight
- The strength of your muscles
- Your body temperature
- And much more
The thyroid creates two main hormones called Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4). These two hormones influence the functions of your body. Your pituitary gland works in tandem with your thyroid to tell the thyroid when and how much of these T3 and T4 hormones should be released.
What Is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones or slows the production of hormones. This slowing of production impacts the thyroids ability to function well. The decrease in thyroid hormones has a major impact on your body’s metabolism. Hypothyroidism can develop at any age but is more likely to appear in older age. Women are three times more likely than men to develop hypothyroidism.
Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism
Because your metabolism begins to slow in response to your underactive thyroid, you’ll notice the effects across your entire body. Patients with hypothyroidism often report symptoms that include:
- Difficulty losing weight or pronounced weight gain
- Fatigue or a general sense of weakness
- Depression and sadness
- Dry hair that is lost easily
- The swelling of the thyroid gland (a goiter)
- Slowed heart rate
- Increased sensitivity to cold
Is There A Cure For Hypothyroidism?
Currently, there is no known cure for hypothyroidism. However, there are medications that can treat the disease and alleviate a patient’s symptoms. Additionally, treatment options may further limit the effects of an underactive thyroid.
What Is Hyperthyroidism?
Essentially the opposite of hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone. With too much thyroid hormone entering your bloodstream, you may experience frequent pain and discomfort. Hyperthyroidism is caused by a number of related diseases or health concerns, including Graves’ disease.
Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism
Similar to hypothyroidism, the effects of an overactive thyroid can be felt across your entire body. In most cases, patients with hyperthyroidism report symptoms like:
- Rapid or unexplained weight loss
- Feelings of nervousness or anxiety
- Increased heart rate
- Feeling hot and itchy
- More frequent bowel movements
- A sense of shakiness or an inability to sit still
Is There A Cure For Hyperthyroidism?
Again, there is no distinct cure for hyperthyroidism, but a combination of treatments and medications can effectively manage the symptoms and effects of an overactive thyroid. If hyperthyroidism is left untreated, however, it can result in the development of an irregular heartbeat and excessive bone loss.
If you’ve been diagnosed with either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, it’s important that you meet with a thyroid surgeon. Together with your general practitioner, your thyroid surgeon can create a treatment plan that best monitors, manages, and alleviates the effects of these thyroid conditions.
If you’re looking for a thyroid surgeon doctor in the Austin area, look no further than the Texas Thyroid & Parathyroid Center run by Doctor Teresa Kroeker. With an education from leading medical schools like Oklahoma State University, and working with thyroid surgery centers at Mt. Sinai Hospital at the University of Toronto, Dr. Kroeker is a leading member of the Austin medical community. With a commitment to customer care and comfort, she conducts hundreds of thyroid surgeries and other treatments every year.
Contact Texas Thyroid & Parathyroid Center today to arrange an appointment with Dr. Kroeker.