How a Thyroid Imbalance Can Affect Your Health and What You Can Do About It

Our glands play major roles in our overall health and wellness, secreting hormones and other chemicals that regulate metabolism, help us sleep, influence sexual desire, and perform many other functions. When our glands function normally, we probably won’t even be aware of their activity. But when glandular dysfunction occurs, we can develop a host of symptoms that can take a toll on wellness and can even leave us with long-term disease.

Thyroid disorder is one of the most common types of gland dysfunction. Located at the front of the neck, the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland produces hormones that help regulate your heart rate, metabolize the food you eat, and regulate digestive function — and that’s just for starters. Thyroid hormones can influence a lot of other processes and functions as well.

Two types of thyroid disorders

Thyroid dysfunction typically falls into one of two types:

Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid

Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid does not produce enough hormones to provide normal regulation of your body’s functions. Hypothyroidism is more common among people with autoimmune diseases and disorders affecting the pituitary gland located in your brain. Some people develop hypothyroidism as a “side effect” of the medications they’re taking.

If you have hypothyroidism, you might have symptoms like:

For women, abnormally heavy menstrual periods is another common symptom.

Hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid

If you have hyperthyroidism, that means your thyroid gland is producing too many thyroid hormones. Hyperthyroidism is less common than hypothyroidism, and it’s typically associated with goiter, thyroiditis, or Graves’ disease.

Hyperthyroidism is associated with symptoms like:

Not everyone who has a thyroid disorder will experience all these symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can also vary from one person to another.

Treating thyroid disorders

In most cases, a thyroid disorder can be diagnosed with a simple blood test to measure the levels of thyroid hormones in your blood. When your thyroid hormone levels are abnormal — either too high or too low — your treatment will be based on the type of disorder you have as well as the severity of your symptoms, your medical history, and other factors.

For hypothyroidism, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may help. In this treatment, synthetic thyroid hormones are used to boost your body’s natural supply of hormones. Bioidentical hormones are chemically identical to the hormones your thyroid gland naturally produces. That means your body recognizes bioidentical hormones in the same way it recognizes naturally-produced hormones, and it also processes them in the same way. Bioidentical hormones are associated with a much lower risk of side effects compared to traditional synthetic hormones. Regular blood tests help ensure you receive the optimal doses of hormones for your needs.

If you have hyperactive thyroid disorder, your treatment might include medications called beta blockers, or you might be prescribed “anti-thyroid” medicines to control the amount of thyroid hormones available in your blood and tissues.

In both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, in-office IV therapy can also be helpful in relieving symptoms and promoting good overall health and wellness.

Have your thyroid checked

If you’re having any of the symptoms of either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, having a blood test is the first and best way to find out if your thyroid is overfunctioning or underfunctioning or if something else might be causing your symptoms. At Balance Hormone Center, we offer completely customized treatments to help every patient get the best care for their needs. If you think you might have a thyroid problem or if you’d like to learn more about the treatment options we offer, book an appointment online today.

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