If you have been feeling off for a while, it is important to get checked for thyroid conditions. Thyroid conditions are more common than people think and can cause a wide variety of symptoms. In this beginner’s guide, we will discuss the most common thyroid conditions, their symptoms, and how to best treat them.
There are many different types of thyroid conditions, but the most common is Hashimoto’s disease and Graves’ disease.
- Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks the thyroid gland, causing it to become inflamed and eventually to stop functioning properly. This can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, depression, and hair loss.
- Graves’ disease is another autoimmune condition that affects the thyroid gland, but in this case, the body produces too much thyroid hormone instead of attacking it. This can lead to symptoms such as anxiety, weight loss, and sweating.
- Thyroid cancer is relatively rare, but it can occur in any of the three main types of thyroid cells. The most common type is papillary thyroid cancer, which accounts for around 80% of all cases. Follicular thyroid cancer makes up around 15% of cases, and medullary thyroid cancer is the rarest at just under five percent.
- Hypothyroidism is the term used when the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone. This can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, depression, and hair loss.
The goal of the treatment is to find out what works best for each patient, and it may include medication or surgery. The doctor will likely need time in order to get an idea of how well this helped you before deciding whether anything else should be done at all!
Thyroid surgery (thyroidectomy)
The thyroid gland is a small organ in the neck that produces certain hormones necessary for metabolism. The surgeon will remove all or part of this important structure to treat cancerous cells, an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), or other conditions. The most common type of thyroid cancer is called papillary carcinoma, and it represents around 80% of all cases.
Your doctor will likely recommend surgery if you have:
- A goiter that is causing difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Thyroid cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic disease)
- A large benign tumor (adenoma) that is causing symptoms such as neck pain or pressure on the trachea (windpipe)
Drugs are often the first resort for people with hyperthyroidism. They can be used to slow down the production of thyroid hormone, which in turn relieves symptoms and stabilizes metabolism. The most common drugs used to treat hyperthyroidism are called beta blockers. These work by blocking the effects of thyroid hormone on your body, which can help to reduce symptoms such as anxiety, tremors, and rapid heartbeat.
Other common medications used to treat hyperthyroidism include propylthiouracil (PTU) and methimazole (Tapazole). PTU works by interfering with the production of thyroid hormone, while methimazole blocks the action of thyroid hormone once it’s been produced.
Iodine is a trace element that can be used with radioactivity in low doses to test one’s thyroid gland. Large amounts of this mineral, however, will destroy cancerous cells because it has an extremely powerful anti-tumor effect!
External radiation therapy is another form of cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or particles to kill cancer cells. This type of therapy is usually given as part of curative intent, meaning it’s given with the goal of curing cancer. External radiation therapy can be used to treat many different types of cancer, including thyroid cancer.
External radiation therapy for thyroid cancer is typically given in five daily treatments over a period of five to seven weeks. The length of treatment depends on the type and stage of your cancer, as well as your overall health. During external radiation therapy, you’ll be treated by a team of specialists who will work together to ensure you receive the best possible care.
The diagnosis of a thyroid condition involves several key steps. It is important for your health care team to conduct research on the symptoms you are experiencing so they can identify what type or region in order to make an accurate conclusion about it and give appropriate treatment accordingly; this includes blood tests, imaging studies (such as x-rays), endoscopy procedures with instruments that allow doctors see inside organs up close, and biopsies of abnormal areas.
Your health care team will also ask about your family history, as some thyroid conditions are hereditary. Be sure to give them a complete picture of your medical background so they can make the best possible diagnosis.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms we’ve listed, please don’t hesitate to call us. We can help diagnose and treat your thyroid condition so you can feel better fast. With early diagnosis and treatment, many people with thyroid conditions are able to manage their symptoms and live healthy lives. Don’t suffer in silence – call us today!
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