You’ve probably heard of the thyroid gland, but do you know what it does? You might not give it a second thought unless something goes wrong.
Information about the Thyroid
Also called underactive thyroid disease, hypothyroidism is a common disorder caused when your thyroid doesn’t make enough of the thyroid hormone. Often the thyroid gland is inflamed. This can be caused by a variety of influences including certain medications, a viral infection, radiation therapy to the neck area, thyroid surgery, too little iodine in the diet, pituitary gland disorders or an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Women are at a higher risk of developing hypothyroidism, as are people who have a close family member with an autoimmune disease. Other risk factors include:
- Race (Caucasian and Asian, especially)
- Prematurely graying hair
- Autoimmune disorders, including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, Addison’s disease, vitiligo
- Bipolar disorder
- Down syndrome
- Turner syndrome
Symptoms may include:
- Changes in your menstrual cycle
- Dry skin and hair loss
- Sensitivities to temperature
- Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Slower heart rate
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Treatments for Thyroid Disorders
Mercy Health has a team of endocrinologists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid conditions, such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Our skilled doctors and clinicians will help you manage your condition in a way that allows for an active, healthy life, keeping you well in mind, body and spirit. Find a Mercy Health endocrinologist and make an appointment today if you have concerns about your thyroid health.
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