Thyroid disorders occur when the thyroid, a gland located in the neck that helps regulate metabolism and maintain a proper hormone balance throughout the body, malfunctions. The thyroid makes two hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), which circulate in the bloodstream. Production of these hormones is regulated by thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which is secreted by the pituitary gland, located in the brain. From the pituitary gland, TSH travels to the thyroid where it stimulates the production of T3 and T4 and their release into the bloodstream.
If your thyroid is under-active, there will be too little thyroid hormone in your bloodstream, a condition known as hypothyroidism. Its symptoms may include weight gain, fatigue, and sensitivity to cold temperatures. Hyperthyroidism — too much thyroid hormone — is caused by an over-active thyroid gland, which can lead to weight loss, an elevated heart rate and increased sensitivity to heat. Usually hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism develop as the result of an autoimmune disease. Graves’ disease is the most common cause of autoimmune hyperthyroidism. Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of autoimmune hypothyroidism.
The first goal in treating of any thyroid disorder is to make sure that you receive an accurate diagnosis. Thyroid disorders can be difficult to diagnose because their symptoms overlap with those of many other conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and Celiac disease.
At the Kaplan Center, our physicians have years of experience treating patients with chronic conditions, and we completely reject the notion that “you just have to live with it.” Kaplan Center physicians are skilled in identifying hormonal problems, including thyroid disorders.
At your first visit, your Kaplan physician will take time exploring the onset of your condition, the specific nature of your symptoms and the overall status of your health. You’ll also be asked about the medications and therapies you’ve tried in the past, and what has and hasn’t worked for you. To gather additional information about your condition, specialized diagnostic laboratory testing may be necessary.
After reviewing all of the factors contributing to your condition, your physician will spend time talking with you about your diagnosis and working with you to create a customized and multi-dimensional treatment plan that addresses not only your immediate pain but also any possible underlying or co-existing conditions that may be causing or aggravating your symptoms.
We offer a multitude of effective treatment options, including:
- Natural & Synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
- Prescription Medications
- Herbal Remedies
- Nutritional Counseling
- Meditation Training to promote relaxation
- Sleep Evaluation & Management
We are here for you, and we want to help.
Our goal is to return you to optimal health as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment please call: 703-532-4892
Publication: Thyroid Disorder Fact Sheet U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health