A thyroid disorder affects your overall health and well-being. This small, butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck governs a number of bodily functions, including metabolism and temperature control. At The Alpine Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism, PC in Superior, Colorado, Sarah Sato, NP, and Christopher R. Fox, MD, specialize in thyroid disorders. Call the office or book online to set up a consultation if you suspect a thyroid disorder is disrupting your quality of life.
A normal thyroid is barely palpable during a physical exam. But if it’s malfunctioning or cancerous, it may feel and appear larger than normal.
The thyroid produces important hormones that:
The most common disorders of the thyroid occur when it produces too little or too much thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism is diagnosed when you produce too little thyroid hormone; if you produce too much thyroid hormone, it’s known as hyperthyroidism. You can also develop cancer of the thyroid gland. Dr. Fox has years of experience treating thyroid disorders and advocates for T4 therapy alone or T3/T4 combination therapy for hypothyroidism while working with each client to find the regimen for hypothyroidism that works best for them.
The Alpine Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism, PC offers on-site ultrasound and biopsy services allowing for "all-in-one" visits to avoid the back and forth of having procedures and follow-ups in different locations.
Hashimoto’s disease is one of the most common thyroid disorders. If you have this autoimmune condition, your body creates antibodies that cause thyroid hormone production to decrease, so you experience hypothyroidism.
Symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease include:
When treated with replacement hormones and lifestyle changes, the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease reduce notably or disappear entirely.
Oftentimes, hyperthyroidism is a result of another autoimmune condition known as Graves’ disease. In this case, certain antibodies produced by your immune system overstimulate the thyroid. As a result, it becomes enlarged and produces too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms of Graves’ disease include:
If you have Graves’ disease, your treatment plan may include radioactive iodine treatments and anti-thyroid medications.
Cancerous cells can grow inside your thyroid gland. The condition is relatively rare, but when caught early enough, treatment can bring you full remission.
You won’t notice obvious outward symptoms of thyroid cancer, but your doctor may notice irregularities in the size of the thyroid at your annual exam.
Treatment for thyroid cancer may include radioactive iodine and surgery.
To learn more about how to maximize your thyroid health, call The Alpine Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism, PC for an appointment, or use the online tool to schedule.