Although it is small in size, the butterfly-shaped gland we know as the thyroid plays a crucial part in our metabolism and general well-being. It’s not uncommon for this gland to malfunction and start to cause symptoms that can become difficult to manage. Common problems a patient can experience are hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goitre or nodules.
Treatment Options for Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid gland that doesn’t produce enough hormone. If a patient is hypothyroid, they may experience a wide range of symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, problems sleeping and regulating the body’s temperature. It is not unusual for patients to go undiagnosed for a long time due to the wide range of symptoms, and a deficiency in thyroid hormone production is sometimes only discovered during routine blood tests.
Hashimoto’s disease, which is often referred to as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, occurs when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. This can result in the patient developing hypothyroidism. The first line treatment for hypothyroidism is usually Levothyroxine in its natural or synthetic form.
Treatment Options For Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is an overactive gland that produces too much hormone. It may lead to symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, sweating, irregular heartbeat, mood changes and digestive difficulties. Causes can include Grave’s disease, where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. Patients might also experience a swelling of the thyroid gland and visual disturbances. Treatment options include anti-thyroid medication or radioactive iodine. However, if either of these therapies isn’t well tolerated, then removal of the thyroid gland might be suggested.
Treatment Options For A Goitre
A goitre, or swelling of the thyroid gland, often won’t be treated in the early stages if it is not causing difficulties. However, if it starts to cause problems with breathing or other complications, surgery might be suggested. If the goitre results from iodine deficiency, iodine supplementation will be prescribed.
Treatment Options For Nodules
These are usually benign, but if nodules produce the thyroid hormone, this can lead to hyperthyroidism. If nodules are troublesome, radioactive iodine is one of the common therapies used to manage them, or surgery might be necessary. If the nodules are cancerous, the thyroid gland and tissues will need to be removed.
Whether a patient is suffering from hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, the first line of treatment is often medication. In some cases, such as a goitre or benign nodules, these conditions might be monitored rather than treated unless they start to cause complications. If medication proves unsuccessful in cases of hypo or hyperthyroid, then surgery may be recommended. For further information on the surgical options, visit our website to learn how the board certified physicians at Premier Surgical in Knoxville can help.