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Hyperthyroid Disease: What is it and how can it be Curbed or Slowed Down?
What is a Thyroid Disease?
Thyroid disease affects at least 30 million Americans, and many are not even aware of their condition. This small butterfly shaped gland is referred to as the “Master gland” (Marcy, 2008) of metabolism. The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck and secretes two hormones; Thyroxin (T4), and Triiodothyronine (T3).
The most common thyroid condition is Hypothyroidism. This disease more commonly afflicts women, as many as 1 in 5, at some point in their lives. (Marcy, 2008) In women, hormonal imbalance can act as the trigger for thyroid problems. The delicate balance of estrogen and progesterone can become upset when the body is under stress. Consequently, pregnancy, pre-menopause and menopause are associated with hyperthyroidism.
What Symptoms are included, and do Family Genetics make a Difference?
Some of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Swelling in the neck
- Hoarse voice
- Skin/hair changes
- Bowel problems
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Fertility problems
- Weight changes
- Heart disease
A family history will also put you in the higher risk bracket for thyroid disease, however many older people may refer to the condition as a “glandular condition”, and may not realize they actually have thyroid disease. Genetics that the condition also can spring from a DNA helix that have various deformities closely associated with the Thyroid gland and other areas around the neck. (Shomon, 2007)
Etiology of Hyperthyroidism
So What is the Next Step? What should you Expect?
The next step if thyroid disease is expected is a visit to your physician. First, a physical exam would be performed to check the size/weight of the thyroid gland. Next, the texture of the skin, hair and the muscle reflexes would be checked for any deformities or color differentiation. Vital signs may or may not reveal a slow heart rate, low blood pressure and low temperature. A chest x-ray has been known to sometimes reveal an enlarged heart.
Lab tests would include:
- Free T4 test
- Total T3
- Serum TSH
- Cholesterol levels
- Liver enzymes
- Serum prolactin and sodium
- CBC (Complete Blood Count)
Finally, treatments available have been a subject of recent debate. Depending on your healthcare providers’ level of experience and training, prescribed treatments may vary. Some of the more common treatments prescribed include a synthetic T4 or Synthroid, Levoxylor, or Levothyrozine. These work best with patients that can convert T4 into T3. For other patients a synthetic T3, Cytomel is added, to help process the bodies over-reaction and creation of TSH through T3 and T4.
Thyroid Disease Symptoms and Types
The End Result?
The goal for the supplements is to tailor the dosage to relieve symptoms and achieve levels of TSH less than 2.0, with optimal levels of T3 and T4. Today’s market also offers herbal supplements to support thyroid function, however, this does require holistic support. It would be best to discuss all of your options with your own personal health care provider, and with your doctor’s help, decide what will work best with your symptoms. For a complete approach to your total health care plan, include proper nutrition, stress management and exercise, which in respect would help curb or stop the growing problem of Hyperthyroid Disease. (Marcy 2008)
Medical Overview of Thyroid Conditions
Marcy, H., NP, C. M. C., Marcelle, P., & OB/GYN, N. (2008). A natural approach to hypothyroidism can work wonders (Thyroid Health). Retrieved October 3, 2013, from Womentowomen.com: http://womentowomen.com.
Scott, A. S., & Fong, E. (2004). Thyroid disorders. In C. L. Esperti (Ed.), Endocrine system (pp. 210 – 214
Shomon, M. (2007, November 9). Top ten signs that you might have a thyroid problem (Thyroid Disease). Retrieved October 3, 2013, from About.com: http://thyroid.about.com.
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