Your thyroid is the butterfly-shaped gland that sits on the front of your neck. Its primary role is to secrete hormones, which are responsible for metabolism, growth and development and the regulation of body temperature. The gland uses the iron from your food to produce these hormones.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when your body produces too many hormones. This increase can be caused by Grave’s disease, a viral infection or a toxic nodule. Too many hormones cause the body to speed up, leading to nervousness, irritability, difficulty sleeping, a racing heart, frequent bowel movements and weight loss. This condition is diagnosed through a simple blood test. Antithyroid drugs are used to treat the condition; they work by blocking the thyroid’s ability to produce too many hormones.
Hypothyroidism occurs when your body does not produce enough hormones. This creates a slowdown in the body, leading to feeling colder, more tired, depressed and constipated. A simple blood test is all that is needed to diagnose this condition. The most common treatment for this condition is the use of daily hormones. Every six to ten weeks you will need a blood test to confirm your hormone levels are where they should be.
The parathyroid consists of four glands in the neck, right behind the thyroid. These glands are responsible for regulating your blood calcium levels. An improperly balanced parathyroid can lead to a condition called hypercalcemia, which is an increased level of blood calcium. This can cause digestive issues, constipation, depression, lethargy and weakness. Calcimedins and bisphosphonates are typically prescribed for this condition. Too little calcium leads to a rarer condition called hypoparathyroidism. This is treated with vitamin D and calcium tablets.
Thyroid and parathyroid disorders can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms contact our office at 337-266-9820 to schedule an appointment.