Hypothyroidism Specialist in Boca Raton, FL
Individuals with an under-active thyroid have a condition known as hypothyroidism. When the thyroid is not as active as it is supposed to be, it means that the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones that are essential for various functions all across the body.
What Causes Hypothyroidism?
There are several different potential causes to any case of hypothyroidism. Most often, this condition is the result of an underlying medical condition, or of a related problem of the thyroid. Individuals with a family history of thyroid complications are also at an increased risk of encountering problems with the thyroid themselves.
Autoimmune diseases and disorders lead the body to attack its own tissues, often including those of the thyroid. Hashimoto’s disease is one such autoimmune disease that frequently cause hypothyroidism in women specifically. Pituitary disorders, iodine deficiency, and thyroiditis associated with pregnancy are all included in the other types of conditions that can lead to under-productivity of the thyroid.
Any sort of medication, radiation therapy, or surgical treatment administered to the thyroid or surrounding tissues can affect its function. Dysfunctions of the thyroid are also common following cancer treatment for the head and neck areas.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
The primary purpose of the thyroid is to stabilize the body’s metabolism. Those with hypothyroidism will typically encounter a slowed metabolism, making it difficult for them to lose weight. Hypothyroidism is also characterized by several other common symptoms, including:
- Increased irritability
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Dry skin and hair
- Frequent muscle cramps
- Memory impairment
- Inability to tolerate cold temperatures
- Decreased libido
- Hair thinning or loss
Individuals with hypothyroidism may not experience each and every symptom listed above, and are likely to have a few symptoms affect them more than others. Because the thyroid controls so many different activities of the body, it can be difficult to pinpoint the specific source of a patient’s symptoms. For this reason, individuals experiencing any of the abnormal occurrences listed should contact a medical specialist like Dr. Berger immediately to have their symptoms accurately diagnosed.
A thyroid stimulating hormone test (TSH) may be ordered to determine if a patient’s thyroid gland is in proper working order. This test is also able to detect dysfunctions of the thyroid before an individual may even begin to experience symptoms of hypothyroidism or other thyroid disorders.
A TSH test simply requires a small sample of blood from the patient. This sample is then sent to our laboratory facilities, where it will be analyzed to determine how much or how little thyroid stimulating hormone is present in the blood. Individuals with mild hypothyroidism are likely to show slightly elevated levels of TSH, but should still be able to maintain normal thyroxine hormone (T4) levels. Those with overt hypothyroidism often show even higher levels of TSH in the blood, and are also prone to experiencing thyroxine levels that are well below average.
Conditions Related to Hypothyroidism
While an under-active thyroid may not seem like a pressing concern, avoiding proper treatment can lead to significant complications and increased risk for several other conditions. Hypothyroidism has been known to encourage the development of a number of different health problems, such as:
- Heart issues
- Severe depression and other mental health problems
- Development of a goiter
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Increased risk for birth defects in offspring
Treatment for Hypothyroidism in Boca Raton, FL
In order to effectively treat a person’s hypothyroidism, Dr. Hara Berger must first determine the cause of the condition and its influential factors. Most cases of hypothyroidism can be managed using daily medications to balance the thyroid hormone levels in the body. This is often achieved prescribing thyroid hormone to help make up for the hormones that the thyroid is unable to produce on its own.
To explore other treatment options, or to learn more about hypothyroidism and how it may be affecting you, please contact Women’s Health Partners to schedule a consultation with our specialists. Call our office in Boca Raton, or Boynton Beach, FL today!