What's Causing My Thyroid Issues?

What's Causing My Thyroid Issues?

If you have thyroid trouble, you’re not alone. The American Thyroid Association reports that as many as 20% of Americans have a thyroid problem, including about eight times as many women as men. 

Both overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) and underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) affect the way your thyroid gland works. But the underlying causes of these two conditions are very different.

At Grassroots Healthcare, our team specializes in diagnosing thyroid problems as early as possible, tailoring treatment plans to each patient’s unique health history, symptoms, and other factors. If you have thyroid disease, here’s what could be causing it.

Understanding your thyroid gland

Your thyroid gland is a bowtie-shaped gland located in your neck, just below your voice box (larynx). The gland has two lobes that wrap around the curve of your neck.

Your thyroid produces and secretes hormones that play key roles in:

Hyperthyroidism happens when the gland produces too many hormones, causing symptoms that include:

Hypothyroidism happens when the gland doesn’t produce enough hormones. When your thyroid hormone levels are low, your metabolism slows down. If you have hypothyroidism, you have symptoms like:

Hypothyroidism is more common than hyperthyroidism, affecting about 4.6% of Americans.

Causes of thyroid problems

Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism affect the thyroid gland in different ways, so it makes sense that these two problems have different causes. 

Hypothyroidism

In the United States, the most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis that causes your immune system to attack your thyroid gland. Over time, the thyroid slows down or even stops its production of thyroid hormones.

Other, less common causes of hypothyroidism include:

If you’ve had surgery to remove part of your thyroid gland, that can also cause the gland to underproduce hormones.

Hyperthyroidism

The main causes of hyperthyroidism include:

Some people with hyperthyroidism develop an enlarged thyroid called a goiter. 

Relief for your thyroid problem

The team at Grassroots Healthcare uses advanced diagnostic techniques to determine the underlying cause of thyroid problems in patients at our Greater Tulsa Area practice, so every treatment can be tailored to each patient’s unique needs. 

Depending on the type of thyroid issue you have and the underlying cause, your treatment might include dietary changes, nutritional supplements, or medications to balance your thyroid hormone levels. More serious thyroid problems may require surgery to correct.

Many thyroid problems can be diagnosed with a simple array of blood test. If you have symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, book an appointment online or over the phone today to have your thyroid function evaluated. 

 

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