Types of thyroid disorders include hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroid nodules.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. This can lead to a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and feeling cold all the time. People with hypothyroidism may also experience dry skin, hair loss, and difficulty concentrating.
On the other hand, hyperthyroidism is the opposite, where the thyroid gland produces an excess of thyroid hormones. This can cause symptoms like weight loss, increased heart rate, and feeling anxious or irritable. People with hyperthyroidism may also have trouble sleeping, experience muscle weakness, and have an increased sensitivity to heat.
Thyroid nodules, are growths or lumps that form within the thyroid gland. While most nodules are benign and do not cause any symptoms, some can be cancerous. It is important to have any suspicious nodules evaluated by a healthcare professional to rule out any serious conditions.
Fortunately, providers can diagnose thyroid disorders through blood tests that measure the levels of thyroid hormones in the body. Treatment options vary depending on the specific disorder. Providers can prescribe synthetic thyroid hormones to replace the deficient hormones for hypothyroidism. Providers can treat hyperthyroidism with medication that reduces thyroid hormone production or by using radioactive iodine to destroy overactive thyroid cells.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove thyroid nodules or the entire thyroid gland. However, providers typically reserve this for cases where the nodules are cancerous or causing significant symptoms.
It is important for individuals with thyroid disorders to work closely with their healthcare provider to manage their condition effectively. With proper treatment and monitoring, most people with thyroid disorders can lead normal, healthy lives. Regular check-ups and medication changes, if necessary, can help maintain balanced thyroid hormone levels and control symptoms.