Raritan Family Healthcare
Primary Care Practice & Family Medicine located in Raritan, NJ & Bedminister, NJ
Thyroid disease affects around 20 million adults in the United States today. At Raritan Family Healthcare, in two locations in Raritan and Bedminster, New Jersey, empathetic providers offer comprehensive thyroid care, from diagnosis to ongoing disease management. Use the online scheduler to arrange an appointment, or call the office to schedule your visit now.
Thyroid Q & A
What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a tiny gland in your neck. Although very small, this gland plays a role in most of your vital bodily functions, including your metabolism, body temperature, heartbeat, digestion, and mood.
Your thyroid gland creates and secretes hormones called triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Both hormones are crucial for good health. If you have too much or not enough thyroid hormones, thyroid disease can cause serious health issues.
What are the most common thyroid problems?
The most common thyroid disorders are:
Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, occurs when you don't make enough thyroid hormones. This can occur for a few reasons, including autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Thyroid surgery, radiation therapy, and some medications could also lead to hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, occurs when you produce an excess of thyroid hormones. An autoimmune disorder called Graves' disease is a common cause of hyperthyroidism. Other possible causes can include goiters and thyroid inflammation.
Hypothyroidism is more common than hyperthyroidism.
What are the symptoms of thyroid problems?
Thyroid disease symptoms depend on whether you have too much or too little thyroid hormone. For hypothyroidism, symptoms commonly include:
- Weight gain or weight loss struggles
- Chronic fatigue
- Increased cold sensitivity
- Dry skin
- Hair thinning
- Slow heart rate
- Muscle aches and pains
- Joint swelling
Hyperthyroidism usually causes some opposite issues, including:
- Weight loss
- Fast heartbeat
- More frequent bowel movements
If you have symptoms that could indicate thyroid disease, your Raritan Family Healthcare provider can carefully evaluate your issues, review your medical history, and perform blood tests to determine whether you have thyroid disease. They can then treat your disease or help you find a thyroid disease specialist, if needed.
How is thyroid disease treated?
For hypothyroidism, the primary mode of treatment is thyroid replacement hormones. Synthetic thyroid hormones can normalize your hormone levels and help you to overcome frustrating hypothyroidism symptoms.
For hyperthyroidism, treatments can vary, with options including medications to stop thyroid hormone production, medications like beta-blockers to control your symptoms, and radioactive iodine to deliberately damage your thyroid and prevent it from producing hormones.
In severe cases, you could need surgery to remove your overproductive thyroid gland. However, thyroid gland removal immediately causes hypothyroidism, so you'll need thyroid hormones to stay healthy.
Thyroid disease may sound frightening, but it's very manageable if you work with the empathetic experts at Raritan Family Healthcare. Book your appointment online, or call the office nearest you to book your visit now.
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