Hormones rule the function of your body, but when you aren’t producing enough of the right kind of hormones, the overall homeostasis of your body begins to falter. The thyroid gland is responsible for producing many of the hormones that regulate basic bodily functions, including temperature regulation and metabolism. At Knox Wellness Experience in Knoxville, TN, we know that thyroid management is an ideal approach to managing and regulating the hormones in your body if you are struggling with thyroid disease.
Your thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that produces many of the hormones in your body that regulate processes associated with blood pressure, weight maintenance, temperature regulation, and much more. Thyroid disease is very common. In fact, for some people, it may even run in families. However, managing your thyroid likely is something that you cannot do by yourself, which is why you will need help from a professional.
What Is Involved in Thyroid Management?
In general, thyroid management is an ongoing treatment plan that helps you manage your well-being, specifically the level of activity in your thyroid gland. Like any management plan, this treatment will be customized to suit your precise needs so that all of your health goals can be met.
You can use this management technique if you are newly diagnosed with a thyroid issue or if you have been struggling with thyroid problems for several months or years. The basic process will involve steps such as:
First, you’ll need to consult with a physician to diagnose a thyroid issue if you do not have a current diagnosis. When you diagnose a thyroid issue, your physician will ask several questions related to your well-being for concerns such as weight gain, weight loss, sensitivity to cold or heat, dry skin, changes in the health of your nails and hair, and so much more.
During your consultation, you will need to include relevant medical information, including any medications you are currently taking, herbal supplements that may be part of your wellness plan, and other physical conditions you may have, like diabetes. It’s the job of your physician to determine whether your symptoms are associated with thyroid issues or other health concerns.
You will need to complete a physical exam with your physician. The thyroid gland can usually be felt at the base of the neck, so your physical exam will likely start here. Other aspects of your physical exam will include taking your vital signs like blood pressure, temperature, breathing rate, and heart rate. Your physical exam can even look at the health of your skin, hair, and nails, or any other physical symptoms you may be experiencing.
To diagnose a thyroid issue, you will need to complete a simple blood test that will analyze the level of thyroid hormone in your blood. When the thyroid hormone is too active, this is hyperthyroidism; when the thyroid hormone is not active enough, this is hypothyroidism. Determining your current level of thyroid hormone is the best way to assess the function of your thyroid, as well as determine what dosage of certain medications is most appropriate for your condition.
The most commonly used medication to deal with thyroid concerns are beta-blockers, but you will likely have many other medications to choose from based on whether you have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Medications for thyroid management are typically taken each day at the same time for several months or years to regulate the function of the thyroid period
Even after your physician finds a medication that is ideal for managing the activity of your thyroid gland, you will likely still need to have monitoring tests to ensure that your thyroid level remains at an ideal level of hormone production to regulate body functions. Your physician may order annual blood tests to assess your thyroid level, which may then prompt your physician to alter the dosage of any medications you may be taking if necessary.
Early Signs You May Need Thyroid Management
There are early signs that you may need thyroid management that you may overlook or confuse with symptoms of other conditions. For example, if you experience irregular heartbeat, consistently low blood pressure or body temperature, sensations like chills, and brittle nails, these may all be signs that your thyroid activity is abnormal.
You should always seek the help of a medical professional if you notice any symptoms that may indicate you have a health condition. If you aren’t sure whether your symptoms are long-lasting or temporary, you can keep a basic log of symptoms to determine if there is any pattern or regularity in your symptoms. For example, taking your blood pressure at the same time every day will establish a pattern for having low blood pressure.
Hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid is a condition that happens when your thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroxine hormone. Essentially, hyperthyroidism speeds up your body’s basal processes, including metabolism, heart rate, and other processes.
Many people who have hyperthyroidism will experience symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, unintentional weight loss, sweating, irritability, or sensitivity to heat. Other symptoms can include mood swings, panic, puffy eyes, irregular menstruation, insomnia, hair loss, muscle weakness, warm skin, excessive hunger, fatigue, or restlessness.
Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid occurs when your body does not make enough of the thyroxine hormone, which slows down many of your bodily processes. Some symptoms of this condition can include slow metabolism, intolerance to cold temperatures, fatigue, unintentional weight gain, and symptoms such as depression.
Interestingly, hypothyroidism is most commonly found in older women who have gone through menopause. Some other symptoms of this condition can include hair loss or dryness, brittle nails, dry skin, high cholesterol, constipation, low sexual dysfunction, and irregular menstrual cycles.
Is There a Best Age for This Treatment?
In general, thyroid issues can occur at any age but may be more common during adulthood. For example, many people will find that hyperthyroidism is most commonly diagnosed during the early 20s, while hypothyroidism is most commonly diagnosed later in life. Some people may experience thyroid issues during developmental stages, such as puberty.
If you aren’t sure about your symptoms, you should always schedule a consultation with an endocrinologist or your regular physician to discuss your symptoms and arrange to take a thyroid blood test to determine whether you have thyroid disease.
How Soon Will You See Results?
You will be able to see the results of your thyroid management program several weeks after you begin taking medication to regulate your thyroid function. The speed of your results will depend on the type of medication you are taking, as well as your dosage, your age, and the severity of your thyroid disease.
Most people will be able to detect notable improvements within about one month for symptoms related to dry skin, brittle nails, and fatigue. You may notice earlier improvements in heart rate, temperature regulation, and overall metabolism.
What Are Your Treatment Options?
In addition to medications, you will likely have other treatment options to consider. For example, if medication is not adequate to manage your symptoms, you may have the option of surgically removing your thyroid gland.
When the thyroid gland is removed, this means you will likely be put on hormone medications for the rest of your life to regulate your bodily processes. This is why surgery for thyroid disease is considered a last option. Your physician will always recommend the most conservative approach to your treatment before exploring other options.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
Thyroid disease is very common, but often the symptoms of thyroid disease can be very difficult to endure. Some symptoms related to homeostasis, such as temperature regulations, can make you feel tired or cold; other symptoms may make you feel distressed because of palpitations, dizziness, and feeling sluggish. The mood symptoms associated with thyroid disease can also be hard to deal with.
Fortunately, thyroid management can help you cope with thyroid disease. Starting with a consultation about your symptoms, your physician will order a physical exam and blood tests to assess the level of active thyroid function in your body. Your physician will then likely recommend thyroid medication to be taken daily and will monitor your health with annual blood tests. If you believe you are suffering from the symptoms of thyroid disease, and you believe management is a good fit for you, please contact Knox Wellness Experience in Knoxville, TN to schedule an appointment.