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Thyroid Disorders Overview by Ric Saguil MD, FAAFP
Your thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits close to your Adam's apple in your neck. It along with your nervous system controls a variety of bodily functions. While your nervous system controls many of your functions through a series of electrical impulses sent through tiny nerves, your hormonal system controls a variety of bodily functions through the release of chemicals called hormones. Hormones control everything from blood sugar levels and digestion to when women ovulate and how thick a man's beard grows.
Your thyroid gland secretes a hormone that regulates the speed at which everything in your body operates. Thyroid hormone acts like the accelerator on your automobile. The right amount of pressure on the gas pedal and everything runs smoothly. Too much pressure on your accelerator and your car races out of control. Too little pressure and your car won't move.
In Hyperthyroidism there is too much thyroid hormone being released and as a result all processes speed up, you might feel anxious and your heart races out of control. Too little thyroid hormone is called Hypothyroidism and all your bodily functions run as if it were happening in slow motion, you lack energy and often feel depressed.
The cause of thyroid disorders can range from small harmless goiter to life threatening cancer. Simple diagnostic testing including diagnostic ultrasound can eliminate most serious threats. Fortunately the most common cause is simply a malfunctioning thyroid gland yielding abnormal hormone production. Depending on the severity of your symptoms good results can be obtained using either conventional medications or alternative remedies.
ONE OF MEDICINES MOST UNDIAGNOSED MALADIES
Patients everywhere are leaving medical facilities confused after being told that their blood tests showed their thyroid hormones to be within normal limits, yet thinking to themselves "but I don't feel normal." The reality is that as 1 in 10 of us suffer from Subclinical Hypothyroidism or a low thyroid hormone balance that does not register in typical blood testing. Studies show that over half of the thyroid imbalance victims are not properly diagnosed. Sub-optimal thyroid function and hormone imbalance is leaving millions of us needlessly distressed. Besides the common symptoms of fatigue, hair loss and weight gain the real dangers of an undetected thyroid or hormonal imbalance include increased risk for osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, nervous system disorders, high cholesterol, and depression.
WHO SHOULD SCREENED
Routine screening starts at age 50 and then every five years thereafter, but if there is a family history of auto-immune disorders we recommend both men and women be checked beginning at age 35. You should be checked if you have any of the following symptoms:
Common Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
Rapid or abnormal heart beat
Uncontrollable bursts of energy
Common Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
THE FOUR GLAND CHALLENGE
There is a secondary set of problems that are usually present when treating thyroid disorder victims. Your thyroid gland doesn't work alone. It's directly under the control of the pituitary gland, the grandmaster of all glands located in your brain. It also works in harmony with your adrenal hormones and sex hormones. The interesting part is that when any one of these systems is not working right it can cause the others to malfunction. Now we can add these potential symptoms to the mix:
Low Tolerance for Stress
Hormone Related Symptoms
Lack of concentration
Abdominal Weight Gain
Dry or Oily Skin
Falling Asleep after Dinner
Irregular menstrual cycles
THE INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE CLINIC AT FIRST HEALTH
By the time many thyroid victims get to us their symptoms are raging in all directions. A not properly regulated thyroid condition will do just that. Getting you back to the old you is often more than just prescribing a medication, it requires a multi-pronged approach.
We've found that the key in successful treatment requires diligent management by providers who have the patience, compassion and knowledge. Because we are multi-specialty treatment center you as a patient have treatment options. Our doctors will take the time to render a proper diagnosis, explain your condition, advise you about treatment options, and discuss the safety and efficacy of those choices.
At First Health we've combined a team of professionals, each highly qualified and passionate about what they do. Unlike other treatment facilities and hospitals, you will find a comprehensive and integrative approach to treating hormonal imbalances - all under one roof.
It all starts with a simple phone call . . . haven't you suffered enough?