Thyroid problems affect your metabolism and virtually every system in your body, including your heart. Anna Boron, MD, at Arkangel Endocrinology & Diabetes, encourages patients to come in at the first sign of thyroid problems. Early treatment can prevent potentially serious problems such as high blood pressure, infertility, and heart disease. If you’ve noticed changes in your energy or weight, call the office in Phoenix, Arizona to schedule a prompt appointment or use the online booking feature.
Your thyroid gland produces three hormones: calcitonin, triiodothyronine (T3), and thyroxine (T4). Calcitonin regulates calcium levels in your blood, while T3 and T4 are better known as the thyroid hormones that regulate your metabolism and virtually every system in your body.
When your thyroid gland doesn’t produce normal levels of T3 and T4, you develop hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
You have hypothyroidism when your thyroid gland is underactive and can’t produce enough hormones. The primary cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The condition may also develop due to thyroid tumors, certain medications, and treatment for hyperthyroidism.
As hypothyroidism slows down your metabolism, you’ll experience symptoms such as:
Untreated hypothyroidism may lead to complications such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, infertility, and damaged peripheral nerves.
When your thyroid gland is overactive and produces an excessive amount of hormones, you have hyperthyroidism. High levels of thyroid hormones can lead to osteoporosis, eye problems, and serious heart conditions such as arrhythmias and atrial fibrillation.
The common symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
Hyperthyroidism may be caused by an autoimmune condition, Graves’ disease, an inflamed thyroid gland, or a toxic thyroid nodule.
A thyroid nodule occurs when cells overgrow and form a lump in the thyroid gland. Nodules may be solid or filled with fluid, in which case they’re called thyroid cysts. Though most thyroid nodules are small and noncancerous, they can vary in size, enlarge, and become malignant.
Thyroid nodules may also become toxic, which means they produce thyroid hormones. As a result, they contribute to hyperthyroidism.
Dr. Boron considers several possible treatments for hyperthyroidism, such as anti-thyroid medications to reduce the amount of hormones, or radioactive iodine, which shrinks the thyroid gland. The primary treatment for hypothyroidism is hormone replacement therapy to bring levels of thyroid hormones back to normal.
Small thyroid nodules may be treated with radioactive iodine. Dr. Boron performs a thyroid nodule ultrasound and biopsy when cancer is suspected.
If you develop symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, call Arkangel Endocrinology & Diabetes or book an appointment online to receive expert medical care.