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Peach State Endocrinology

Specialist in Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid Disorder - Endocrinologist - Peach State Endocrinology

Endocrinologist and Thyroid Specialist
located in Peachtree City, GA

Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid disorders affect your overall health and well-being. This small, butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck governs a number of bodily functions, including metabolism and temperature control. At Peach State Endocrinology in Peachtree City, GA, Dr. Evgenia Korytnaya (Dr. K), specializes in thyroid diseases such as hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, postpartum thyroiditis and thyroid nodules. Call Dr. K or schedule online to set up a consultation if you suspect a thyroid disorder is disrupting your quality of life.

Thyroid Disease

What is it:

Thyroid disease refers to a range of conditions that affect thyroid gland’s function, which plays crucial role in regulating metabolism and energy production. Common thyroid disorders include hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), and thyroid nodules.

Symptoms:

Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid):

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Weight gain
  • Cold intolerance
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Muscle aches and stiffness
  • Joint pain
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Memory problems

Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid):

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Weight loss, despite increased appetite
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Tremors in the hands
  • Sweating and heat intolerance
  • Increased bowel movements
  • Changes in menstrual patterns
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping

 

What causes it?

Thyroid disease can be caused by various factors, including genetics, autoimmune disorders (e.g., Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease), iodine deficiency, radiation exposure and certain medications. These factors can disrupt the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, leading to either an underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism) thyroid, as well as development of thyroid nodules or thyroid cancer.

Diagnosis and Treatment:

Thyroid disease is diagnosed through blood tests measuring thyroid hormone levels, ultrasound, and sometimes a biopsy.

Treatment depends on the specific thyroid condition. Hypothyroidism is typically managed with thyroid hormone replacement. Treatment of Hyperthyroidism may involve medications to control hormone levels, radioactive iodine therapy, or surgery. Thyroid nodules may require monitoring or, if cancerous, surgical removal. Thyroid cancer often necessitates surgery, followed by radioactive iodine therapy. Individualized treatment plans are tailored to each patient’s condition and needs.

For more information visit American Thyroid Association.

Hypothyroidism

What is it:

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition characterized by an underactive thyroid gland. The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in regulating various bodily functions by producing thyroid hormones, primarily thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones are essential for controlling the body’s metabolism, energy production, and the functioning of various organs and systems.

Symptoms:

  • Fatigue: Persistent and unexplained tiredness or low energy levels.
  • Weight gain: Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight, despite maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine.
  • Cold sensitivity: Feeling excessively cold, even in normal or warm temperatures.
  • Depression: Feeling depressed, down, or experiencing mood swings.
  • Muscle weakness: Muscle weakness, stiffness, and aches, often in the arms and legs.
  • Constipation: Slower digestive system leading to infrequent bowel movements.

 

What causes it?

Hypothyroidism is primarily caused by autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s disease), surgical removal of the thyroid gland, radiation therapy, certain medications, pituitary/hypothalamic dysfunction, congenital factors, and, rarely, viral infections. These factors lead to insufficient production of thyroid hormones, affecting metabolism and causing a range of symptoms. Treatment typically involves thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

Diagnosis and Treatment:

Hypothyroidism is diagnosed through blood tests measuring thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid hormone levels (T3 and T4). Elevated TSH and low T3/T4 levels indicate hypothyroidism. Additional tests may identify the underlying cause.

The primary treatment for hypothyroidism is thyroid hormone replacement therapy, usually with levothyroxine. This medication replaces deficient thyroid hormones and alleviates symptoms. Treatment aims to normalize hormone levels, managed through periodic blood tests to adjust medication doses as needed.

For more information visit American Thyroid Association. 

Postpartum Thyroiditis

What is it:

Postpartum thyroiditis is a condition that affects thyroid gland in some women after giving birth. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck that produces hormones responsible for regulating metabolism and various bodily functions.

Symptoms:

Thyrotoxic Phase (Hyperthyroidism):

  • Nervousness and anxiety: Women may feel unusually anxious or jittery.
  • Irritability: Increased irritability and mood swings.
  • Weight loss: Unintentional weight loss, despite normal or increased appetite.
  • Rapid heartbeat (palpitations): An increased heart rate or heart palpitations.
  • Heat intolerance: Feeling excessively hot or sweaty, even in cool temperatures.
  • Tremors: Fine tremors in the hands and fingers.
  • Difficulty sleeping: Insomnia or difficulty falling asleep.
  • Increased bowel movements: More frequent bowel movements and diarrhea.

Hypothyroid Phase (Hypothyroidism):

  • Fatigue: Overwhelming tiredness and lack of energy.
    Depression: Feelings of sadness, depression, or mood swings.
  • Weight gain: Unintentional weight gain, often despite reduced calorie intake.
  • Cold intolerance: Feeling unusually cold, even in warm temperatures.
  • Dry skin and hair: Dry, coarse skin and brittle hair.
  • Constipation: Infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stool.
  • Muscle aches and weakness: Muscle pain and weakness.
  • Joint pain: Pain or stiffness in the joints.
  • Menstrual changes: Irregular or heavy menstrual periods

What causes it?

The exact cause of postpartum thyroiditis is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to complex interactions between hormonal changes and the immune system during and after pregnancy.

Diagnosis and Treatment:

The diagnosis and treatment of postpartum thyroiditis involve a combination of clinical evaluation, blood tests, and, if necessary, medical intervention.

Treatment:

The treatment of postpartum thyroiditis depends on the phase and severity of the condition:

Thyrotoxic Phase (Hyperthyroidism):

  • If the thyrotoxic phase is mild and symptoms are not severe, treatment may not be necessary. Symptoms may improve on their own as the phase progresses.
  • If symptoms are severe or causing discomfort, beta-blocker medications may be prescribed to alleviate symptoms like rapid heartbeat and anxiety.

Hypothyroid Phase (Hypothyroidism):

  • If you enter the hypothyroid phase, your healthcare provider may prescribe thyroid hormone replacement therapy, usually in the form of levothyroxine. The goal is to restore your thyroid hormone levels to the normal range.
  • You will need periodic blood tests to monitor your thyroid function while on medication.
  • If thyroid hormone  treatment is started, it is usually continued for approximately 6-12 months and then reduced to see if thyroid hormone is required permanently.

For more information visit American Thyroid Association.

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