Cornerstone Medical Associates
Internal Medicine & Primary Care located in Smyrna, TN
Thyroid problems can lead to a wide range of symptoms like weight gain and muscle aches, but they’re usually easy to treat. At Cornerstone Medical Associates in Smyrna, Tennessee, Olawumi O. Ayo Akatue, MD, and Richmond A. Akatue, MD, provide internal medicine and primary care services for chronic conditions, including thyroid disorders. To see if your thyroid is causing your symptoms, call Cornerstone Medical Associates, or schedule an appointment online today.
What are thyroid problems?
The thyroid regulates your body’s metabolic processes, including how quickly you burn calories and your heartbeat. This small, butterfly-shaped gland is found in the front of your neck.
You can develop a variety of thyroid problems, including:
- Goiters: The thyroid gland grows enlarged.
- Nodules: Abnormal masses or lumps develop.
- Thyroid cancer: There are several types, and all have high survival rates.
The most common thyroid problems, however, are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
What is hypothyroidism?
When you have hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, you don’t make enough of the thyroid hormone needed to regulate your metabolic processes. This common condition can develop for several reasons, such as thyroid hormone resistance and inflammation of the thyroid.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Retaining fluid
- Feeling cold
- Having difficulty concentrating or mental fogginess
- Suffering from constipation
- Experiencing depression
- Suffering from weight gain
- Aching muscles and joints
Women with an underactive thyroid might also experience excessive bleeding during long menstrual periods.
What is hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, occurs when your thyroid makes too much hormone. This thyroid condition is less common than hypothyroidism and typically develops because of excess iodine consumption, thyroid nodules, toxic multinodular goiters, or Graves’ disease.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Fast heart rate
- The inability to tolerate heat
- Frequent bowel movements
- Increased sweating
- Inability to concentrate
When you have hyperthyroidism, you might also experience tremors or unexplained nervousness.
How are thyroid problems diagnosed and treated?
In most cases, thyroid problems are easily managed and aren’t life-threatening.
Based on your symptoms and physical exam, Dr. Olawumi O. Ayo Akatue or Dr. Richmond A. Akatue might recommend additional blood tests to measure TSH levels and thyroid hormones in your system. Depending on the results of these tests, they might also suggest digital imaging tests to look for cysts, nodules, or calcifications on your thyroid.
Some thyroid conditions require additional testing, like scans using radioactive iodine to measure the function of your thyroid. Fine needle aspiration and biopsies can also confirm some thyroid conditions using tissue samples.
The majority of thyroid problems, like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, respond positively to prescription medications. In extreme cases, your doctor might recommend surgery to remove large goiters, nodules, or your entire thyroid gland.
For more information on thyroid problems, call Cornerstone Medical Associates, or schedule an appointment online today.