3 Things You Should Know If You Think You Have Thyroid Problems

If you have not been feeling well lately and are suffering from pain in your throat, unusual weight gain, mood swings, and pain in your joints, there is a good chance that you might have an issue with your thyroid. A visit to a medical clinic will help you determine what is going on with your body, and you might discover that your thyroid is not working as it should.

What Is a Thyroid?

The thyroid is a gland that is found in your neck and is shaped like a butterfly. According to WebMD, the thyroid produces several different types of hormones and is responsible for controlling your metabolism and body temperature. When your thyroid is not functioning properly, it will cause a number of different medical problems.

According to Health.com, approximately 30 million Americans suffer from thyroid issues, but many of these individuals do not even know that they have these problems. Women have a higher risk of developing these problems, especially when they are over the age of 35.

How Is This Diagnosed?

After describing the symptoms you are having to your doctor, the doctor is likely to begin diagnosing the problem by performing two steps. The first step is feeling your neck. In many cases, doctors can tell if a person's thyroid is not functioning properly simply by feeling it. If it is swollen, it is a sure sign of a problem.

The second way is through a blood test. Your doctor may suggest drawing your blood to have the thyroid levels tested. Through this test, the doctor will be able to see the number of thyroid hormones in your body. If the level is too high, it may mean that you have hyperthyroidism. If the level is too low, you may have hypothyroidism.

In most cases, thyroid issues are detected through a standard blood test, but there are times when this is not enough. If the results are inconclusive, your doctor may require additional testing. One additional test used for this is called a thyroid scan, and another option is through an ultrasound.

How Are Thyroid Issues Treated?

One of the most important factors in treating a thyroid issue is getting the correct diagnosis of the problem. As soon as your doctor understands how your thyroid is functioning, he or she will then be able to treat the problem accordingly.

The most common method used for treating thyroid issues is medication. If you have hypothyroidism, your doctor will give you medication that will cause you to produce extra thyroid hormones. Through this type of medication, your thyroid will begin functioning properly, and your body will have the right level of thyroid hormones in it.

If your thyroid is overactive and is producing too many hormones, the doctor will give you medication that will control the release of these hormones.

Finding the right medication can take some time, and your doctor may have you try several different types and dosages before the problem is solved. You will know when you are on the right medication because you will begin feeling better. You may notice that you are not as anxious anymore, and you might start sleeping better. It might also be easier for you to begin losing weight.

Unfortunately, medication does not always do the trick. If this is the case, your doctor may suggest an alternative treatment option, such as surgery.

If you believe that you might have thyroid problems, it's better to find out sooner rather than later. These issues will not go away on their own, and you will not be able to find relief from your symptoms until you get help. To learn more about this, make an appointment at a medical clinic today.