symptoms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidismThe thyroid is a tiny, bowtie- shaped gland that controls hormones directly related to the body’s energy level. The thyroid regulates food digestion by secreting hormones into the blood stream and serves as the body’s thermostat for metabolism. It is normally located in the lower front of your neck. Thyroid hormone secreted by the gland also impacts breathing, heart rate, nervous system, weight, body temperature, and many other functions of the body. Two common conditions of the thyroid gland are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism is characterized by an overactive thyroid gland producing an excessive amount of thyroid hormone. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can include:

  • Fatigue or muscle weakness
  • Hand tremors
  • Mood swings
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat
  • Increased sensitivity to heat
  • Frequent hunger
  • Skin dryness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight loss
  • Increased frequency of bowel movements
  • Diarrhea
  • Light periods or skipping periods

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland is underactive and does not produce enough hormones. This can lead to an imbalance of chemicals in the body potentially leading to the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue or muscle weakness
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Puffy face
  • Hoarseness
  • Elevated blood cholesterol level
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
  • Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
  • Thinning hair
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Depression
  • Impaired memory

Fortunately, both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism have effective treatment options. If you are experiencing symptoms of a thyroid issue, your doctor may conduct a thorough physical exam along with blood tests to measure thyroid hormone levels. Your doctor may also order an ultrasound or another imaging test to ensure there are no nodules present.

“The first line of defense in treating hyper- and hypothyroidism is through medicinal therapy,” “says William C. Gibson, MD, FACS  of Premier Surgical Associates in Knoxville. “People with hyperthyroidism who have failed medicinal management may need to consider surgery as a long term approach to treatment.”

While it may take time to discover the proper dosage of thyroid hormone replacement, medications can often restore adequate levels of thyroid hormones once lost as a result of hypothyroidism. The appropriate treatment is dependent upon each unique patient and the severity of the condition. If a patient with hyperthyroidism requires the partial or full removal of the gland they will require medication to replace the lost hormones for the rest of his or her life.

If you are experiencing symptoms of a thyroid problem consult your primary care physician to determine the underlying cause of the symptoms. If medicinal therapy is unable to control your hyperthyroidism, talk with your physician about a consult with one of the board certified physicians at Premier Surgical Associates to determine if thyroid surgery may be an appropriate treatment for you

Call (865) 306-5775 to schedule an appointment or visit our website to learn more about thyroid and endocrine surgical care at Premier Surgical Associates.