Your body needs hormones to function properly — they control everything from your appetite, mood, and growth to your reproductive system and sleep.
One of the most important organs in your endocrine system is the thyroid. Unfortunately, thyroid dysregulation is common, and some people are at higher risk for thyroid issues than others.
Dr. Jacob Holdren, Dr. Steven Foley, and our Regenerative Health and Wellness Medical Center team provide a wealth of important services, including help with hormone-related problems. When you visit our Holly or Colorado Springs, Colorado office, we listen carefully to your concerns and seek the root cause of your condition to create the best treatment plan.
What does my thyroid do?
Your thyroid gland is about two inches in length and butterfly-shaped. It’s located at the front of your neck, and it:
- Controls your body’s use of energy (metabolism) and hence, your weight
- Modulates your heartbeat
- Influences your breathing
- Impacts your cholesterol levels
- Regulates your body temperature
- Helps to govern women’s menstrual cycles
When something goes awry with your thyroid gland, all of these functions can get out of whack and lead to troubling symptoms.
What types of symptoms do thyroid problems cause?
Any condition that causes your thyroid to become dysregulated puts you at risk for a range of health problems. Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid isn’t active enough or making enough hormones, while hyperthyroidism is when it’s overactive and makes too many.
An underactive thyroid causes weight gain, a feeling of sluggishness and fatigue, and it might make you less tolerant of cold temperatures. If you have an overactive thyroid, you tend to lose weight, feel agitated and may notice your heartbeat is faster than normal. You may also experience vision problems.
If your thyroid acts up, you can also experience constipation, skin issues, depression, and memory issues. Sometimes swelling of the neck is also visible if you have hyperthyroidism.
Risk factors for thyroid problems
About 20 million people live with a thyroid disorder, and there are plenty of factors that put you at higher risk for one:
- Being female (problems often occur after birth and due to menopause)
- Having a family history of thyroid disorders
- Living with certain chronic conditions, like type 1 or 2 diabetes and Graves disease
- Taking prescription medication that’s high in the mineral iodine
- Being over 60 years of age
You’re also at higher risk for a thyroid problem if you’ve had treatment for a thyroid condition or thyroid cancer in the past.
Lifestyle factors can contribute to hyperthyroidism, too, including smoking and high levels of stress.
How can you help me if I’m diagnosed with a thyroid disorder?
You’re in the best hands at Regenerative Health & Wellness Medical Center. If you come to us with concerning thyroid symptoms that point to either an overactive or underactive thyroid, we take a small blood sample and send it to a lab for in-depth study.
About a week later, we receive the results and discuss the treatment plan that will work best for you. This could include prescription thyroid medications, medically assisted weight loss to help with hypothyroidism, and altering lifestyle habits, like quitting smoking.
If you suspect you may have a thyroid condition, we can help. Call the Regenerative Health & Wellness office most convenient to you and schedule a consultation, or reach out to us through our website.