Thyroid Disorders

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, Physician Assistants, Physician Assistants, Physician Assistants, Family Practice & Adult Care and Primary Care in Anchorage and Soldotna, AK

Thyroid Disorders
Thyroid Disorders services offered in Anchorage and Soldotna, AK

The thyroid is a small gland that controls many of your bodily functions, including temperature regulation and digestion. If your thyroid isn’t functioning properly we offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy at Health North Family Medicine, LLC, a Family Practice in Anchorage and Soldotna, Alaska. Call Health North Family Medicine, LLC, today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about thyroid disorders.

What are thyroid disorders?

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland situated towards the front of your neck. The gland produces the thyroid hormone, which is responsible for many of your bodily functions. The thyroid plays a crucial role in metabolism, temperature regulation, mood, and digestion. When your thyroid isn’t functioning properly, you can experience many unwanted symptoms.

What are the types of thyroid disorders?

Thyroid disorder symptoms depend largely on the type. Everybody experiences thyroid hormone imbalances differently. The two most common types of thyroid disorders include:

Hyperthyroidism

When your thyroid produces too much of its hormone, it can accelerate many of your critical bodily functions. You may experience unintended weight loss, a fast metabolism, increased heart rate, heart palpitations, and increased sweating.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is far more common than hyperthyroidism. If you have hypothyroidism, your metabolism slows, which can lead to unintended weight gain, sensitivity to cold temperatures, fatigue, dry skin, and constipation.

What causes thyroid disorders?

Many conditions can cause thyroid disorders, including:

  • Grave’s disease
  • Hashimoto’s disease
  • Iodine deficiency or excessive iodine
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Genetic abnormalities
  • Thyroiditis 
  • Nodules

You’re most likely to develop a thyroid disorder after age 60. Women are disproportionately affected by thyroid disorders, though they can also impact men. Having a family history of thyroid disease or taking medications high in iodine can increase your risk of developing hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.

Individuals with Type 1 diabetes are at an especially high risk of developing a thyroid disorder later in life, so your provider may recommend performing regular testing to monitor your hormone levels.

What are the treatments for thyroid disorders?

After a comprehensive physical exam and blood work, your provider may order imaging tests to view the size of your thyroid. Sometimes, an enlarged thyroid can be a sign of cancer. How your provider treats your thyroid disorder depends on the type. Traditional treatments for thyroid disorders include:

  • Thyroid replacement medications
  • Anti-thyroid medications
  • Radioactive iodine
  • Beta blockers

In advanced cases, your provider may recommend surgery to remove the thyroid, but Health North Family Medicine, LLC, always emphasizes conservative treatment whenever possible. Following a healthy diet, regular exercise, and helpful lifestyle choices can also help reduce symptoms from thyroid disorders.

To learn more about thyroid disorders, call Health North Family Medicine, LLC, or schedule an appointment online today.