The thyroid is a small endocrine gland that controls the production of certain hormones. It’s situated at the front of the neck. Your metabolism and the way your body uses energy are controlled by thyroid hormones. These hormones have an effect on every organ in the body, including the rate at which your heart beats, digestion, weight, energy levels, and mood.
When there’s a problem with the thyroid, it can have a wide reaching impact on how you feel and function day-to-day. At Burlington Medical Center, internal medicine and endocrinology specialist Dr. Sam Morayati specializes in diagnosing and treating endocrine issues, including thyroid disorders.
The thyroid is a vital gland that plays an important role in maintaining overall health. When it’s working the right way, it helps your body function properly and makes you feel well. Likewise, when there’s a problem, you can experience a wide range of bothersome symptoms.
Every cell in your body has thyroid receptors. This underscores the importance of thyroid hormones and how much they can impact your overall health.
It’s well known that there is a connection between the thyroid and anxiety, as well as between the thyroid and stress. There’s also evidence that supports the link between low thyroid (hypothyroidism) and depression.
Hypothyroidism is a condition that develops when your thyroid gland fails to produce sufficient amounts of hormones. Symptoms may include:
Hyperthyroidism develops when your thyroid is overactive, producing an excessive amount of hormones. Mood-related symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
Many of these symptoms can be misdiagnosed as a mental health disorder.
Thyroid disorders affect your reproductive system. Women with thyroid disorders may experience heavy menses, irregular periods, and problems getting pregnant.
When your thyroid isn't functioning properly, it can cause symptoms that affect your nervous system, such as numbness, tingling, pain, or a sense that the affected parts of your body are burning.
Thyroid hormones impact the amount of blood that your heart pumps through your circulatory system, as well as your heart rate, and the strength and vigor of your heart's contractions. A problem with your thyroid gland can cause a number of issues with your heart and circulation.
Thyroid issues can also wreak havoc on your digestive system. Thyroid hormones control various aspects of digestion, including how food moves through your system. Thyroid disorders can cause constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, bloating, and decreased or increased appetite.
In most cases, Dr. Morayati can diagnose thyroid disorders with relative ease by using straightforward blood testing to evaluate the levels of thyroid hormones in your blood.
Patients have access to a wide variety of therapeutic options, such as hormone replacement therapy for low thyroid function or medications that block thyroid activity, in the case of overactive thyroid. Surgical removal of the gland in its entirety or in part is yet another method for the long-term treatment of hyperthyroidism.
Although successful treatment of both conditions is typically possible, there is rarely a "one-size-fits-all" solution to the problem.
The incidence of thyroid diseases in women is significantly higher than the incidence in men. Women have a five to eight times greater risk of developing thyroid problems than men do, and one in every eight women will experience the onset of a thyroid problem at some point during their lifetime.
Women aged 50 and older are at an increased risk of developing hypothyroidism, whereas women in their teens and 20s are at an increased risk of developing hyperthyroidism.
If you have symptoms of a thyroid disorder or suspect that your thyroid isn’t working properly, Dr. Morayati can perform a thyroid evaluation to shed some light on what’s going on. To get started, call or request an appointment online with Dr. Morayati at our Burlington, North Carolina, clinic today.