Spotting the Warning Signs of a Thyroid Disorder

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Sep 07, 2023

It’s easy to overlook the importance of your thyroid in everyday life. After all, you can’t see the small gland located in your neck, so all of its work goes on behind the scenes. However, this work impacts your entire body. So, even if you can’t see your thyroid in action, serious issues can arise when it doesn’t function properly. But why?

 At Comprehensive Primary Care in Georgia, our  team provides acute, chronic, and preventive medical services. In this blog, they explain the thyroid's role in the body and how we diagnose a disorder. 

Your thyroid and your body

Your thyroid may be small, but it affects almost every system in your body. It does this by making and controlling specific hormones. 

These chemical messengers regulate your metabolism, a process that keeps your whole body humming — kind of like a battery or generator. However, they need to maintain a delicate balance to keep the system powered correctly.

When thyroid hormone imbalances arise, you have a thyroid disorder. This can describe a variety of issues, depending on whether the gland produces too many or too few hormones. That’s when uncomfortable symptoms can arise. 

Spotting the signs of a thyroid disorder

Since your thyroid regulates everything from your blood pressure and body temperature to your metabolism and heart rate, hormonal imbalance can trigger various symptoms. 

Common signs of a thyroid disorder include:

  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Weak or brittle hair
  • Red, dry, itching, or irritated skin
  • Eye irritation or vision problems
  • Joint swelling
  • A swelling or enlarged area in the neck
  • Facial puffiness
  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Fatigue or feeling worn down
  • Sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Forgetfulness
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, or miscarriage

Thyroid disorders can also cause changes in mental wellness, causing feelings of anxiety, agitation, irritability, and depression.

Whether your symptoms develop from too much or too little thyroid hormone, it’s crucial to diagnose and treat thyroid disorders to avoid additional complications.

Diagnosing and treating thyroid disorders

The best way to diagnose thyroid disorders involves a physical exam, diagnostic imaging, and blood tests. These assessments can identify numerous thyroid-related issues, including:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Thyroiditis
  • Graves’s and Hashimoto’s disease
  • Goiters
  • Thyroid nodules and cancer

After reaching a diagnosis, your provider can offer personalized recommendations to treat your condition. In many cases, this involves medications to restore hormone balance. However, some thyroid disorders require additional treatment, like radioactive iodine or surgery.

Have you noticed signs of a thyroid disorder? Don’t wait to schedule diagnostic testing. Contact Comprehensive Primary Care in Lawrenceville or Suwanee, Georgia, to schedule a consultation by calling or booking online today.