The thyroid produces several hormones which act throughout the body, influencing metabolism, growth, development and body temperature. When a thyroid condition exists which either inhibits or overly promotes the release of thyroid hormones, a variety of symptoms may be present from mild to severe.
The two best-known thyroid conditions are Hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) and Hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid) but other thyroid conditions exist such as; Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease, thyroiditis, thyroid cancer, thyroid nodules and goiter.
When the thyroid functions as it should, it will produce T3 and T4 at a 20% – 80% ratio. An under-production of these hormones will slow down the body’s metabolism, causing Hypothyroidism. Common symptoms of this thyroid condition are:
- weight-gain despite eating sensibly
- feeling cold even in warm weather
- hair loss
- dry, flaky skin, especially on the face
- unexplained joint pain
In addition to these symptoms, people with hypothyroidism may have high blood levels of LDL cholesterol, the so-called “bad” cholesterol.
This thyroid condition occurs when an excess of T3 and T4 speeds up the body’s metabolism and, if the mild condition is left untreated it can lead to symptoms such as:
- Weight loss, despite eating a good amount of food
- Increased appetite
- Rapid pounding of the heart
- Trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep
- Increased sweating
- More frequent bowel movements
- Less frequent menstrual periods with lighter than normal menstrual flow
Hashimoto’s disease an autoimmune disease where the immune system makes antibodies that damage thyroid cells and interfere with their ability to make thyroid hormones. This thyroid condition is also known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and the disease is the most common cause of an underactive thyroid.
An enlarged thyroid, called a goiter, is often the first sign of disease although many people have this thyroid condition and experience no symptoms for years. The goiter may cause the front of the neck to look swollen. If large, it may cause a feeling of fullness in the throat or make it hard to swallow. For other symptoms of this thyroid condition – see under Hypothyroidism above.
Graves’ Disease is another autoimmune disease (like Hashimoto’s disease) that affects the thyroid. The immune system makes antibodies that act like TSH, causing the thyroid to make more thyroid hormone than the body needs. The symptoms of this thyroid condition are the same as those listed under Hyperthyroidism above. However, Graves’ disease can also cause:
- Bulging or discomfort in the eyes when the tissue behind the eyes becomes inflamed and swells. In some instances it affects vision.
- Reddening and thickening of the skin, often on the shins and tops of the feet. This rare skin problem is not serious and is usually painless.
Thyroiditis is a thyroid condition which leads to inflammation, or swelling, of the thyroid. There are several types of thyroiditis, one of including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis mentioned above. Other types of thyroiditis include:
Like Hashimoto’s disease, postpartum thyroiditis is a thyroid condition that seems to be caused by a problem with the immune system. The first phase starts 1 to 4 months after giving birth when the damaged thyroid leaks thyroid hormones out into the bloodstream and symptoms of hyperthyroidism may occur. The second phase starts about 4 to 8 months after delivery when symptoms of hypothyroidism occur because the thyroid has lost most of its hormones. In most women who have postpartum thyroiditis, thyroid function returns to normal within 12 to 18 months after symptoms start.
Silent Or Painless Thyroiditis
Symptoms are the same as in postpartum thyroiditis, but they are not related to having given birth.
Symptoms are the same as in postpartum and silent thyroiditis, but the inflammation in the thyroid leads to pain in the neck, jaw, or ear. Unlike the other types of thyroiditis, subacute thyroiditis may be caused by an infection.
Most people with thyroid cancer have a thyroid nodule that is not causing any symptoms. If you have a thyroid nodule, there is a small chance it may be thyroid cancer and your practitioner will perform tests to determine if the thyroid condition s cancer. Some people with thyroid cancer may have symptoms such as swelling in the neck, pain swallowing or a hoarse voice.
Thyroid cancer is rare compared with other types of cancer. It is more common in people who:
- Have a history of exposure of the thyroid to radiation (but not routine X-ray exposure, as in dental X-rays or mammograms)
- Have a family history of thyroid cancer
- Are older than 40 years of age
A thyroid nodule is a thyroid condition which results in swelling in one section of the thyroid gland. The nodule can be solid or filled with fluid or blood and a person can have one nodule or many. Most thyroid nodules do not cause symptoms but some make too many thyroid hormones, causing hyperthyroidism. Sometimes, nodules get to be big enough to cause problems with swallowing or breathing. In fewer than 10 percent of cases, thyroid nodules are cancerous.
Usually, the only symptom of this thyroid condition is a swelling in your neck but a large goiter can cause a tight feeling in your throat, coughing, or problems swallowing or breathing. Having a goiter may, or may not, interfere with thyroid hormone production and as with other thyroid conditions, comprehensive testing by a physician is required to establish the true picture.
Treating & Healing Thyroid Conditions
LifeWorks Wellness Center is long recognized as one of the foremost natural health clinics in the US. At our Tampa Bay, Florida alternative medicine office we have been offering treatment for thyroid conditions for a long time and many of our patients have benefitted from it. The patients fly in from all over the world because they simply can’t find clinics offering comprehensive analysis of their thyroid condition and natural medicine for thyroid conditions where they live.
We have helped many patients regain their health and we would love to help you, too. To become a patient or for more information feel free to call our New Patient coordinator at (727) 466-6789 or simply submit an online web inquiry with your request.
Contact the best thyroid doctor in the Clearwater & Tampa Florida area!