Have you been feeling nervous lately or struggled to fall asleep? Or maybe you’ve noticed that you’re extra fatigued at the office or too tired to make it to your usual fitness class at Maryvale Community Center.
While these could be symptoms for many different conditions, it’s possible they may be signs of a thyroid disorder.
What Is a Thyroid Disorder?
Your thyroid is a small gland in your neck that is responsible for making hormones that regulate your metabolism. When you have a thyroid disorder, you start producing either too much or too little hormones. Both of which can cause a slew of unpleasant symptoms.
Hyperthyroidism Causes and Symptoms
Hyperthyroidism is when you have too much thyroid hormone in your body. It can accelerate your metabolism and cause symptoms such as:
- Trouble sleeping
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Fatigue and muscle weakness
- Unintentional weight loss
- Tremors in your hands
- Goiter (enlargement in the neck)
Hyperthyroidism affects 1-3% of the US population and is more frequent in women and older individuals. Common causes include:
- Graves’ disease (an autoimmune disorder and the most common cause of hyperthyroidism)
- Hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules
- Benign tumor of the pituitary gland
Hypothyroidism Causes and Symptoms
On the other end of the spectrum is hypothyroidism. This is when your thyroid produces too little hormone. Symptoms may include:
- Frequent fatigue
- Increased sensitivity to the cold
- Dry skin and hair
- Memory problems
- Slow heart rate
The autoimmune disorder Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a common cause of hypothyroidism. Other causes can include:
- Certain medications
- Turner syndrome
- Damaged thyroid
- Iodine deficiency
- Radiation therapy for head and neck cancers
What Are Thyroid Nodules?
Thyroid nodules are lumps that appear on a person’s thyroid. Though they are quite common, most do not cause symptoms. However, in some cases, thyroid nodules may lead to hyperthyroidism.
Treatment Options for Thyroid Disorders
If you have symptoms of a thyroid disorder or feel a growth on or near your thyroid, visit your medical provider. They will likely perform a blood test to check your thyroid hormone levels and may order additional testing depending on your symptoms.
If you are found to have a thyroid disorder, you will likely need to take medication to help regulate your hormone levels. Additionally, medications like beta blockers may be prescribed to help manage your symptoms. Surgery may be required in some cases.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, contact Arizona Desert Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists today.