Of late you have been feeling tired and sluggish. Your muscles may be feeling weak and perhaps you have noticed your hair thinning on top. You are trying to eat well, yet you seem to be gaining weight. Of course, you blame these symptoms on getting older and your hectic life. “Chalk it up to modern life,” you think. But not so fast. If you have been experiencing a variety of symptoms that don’t seem to make sense, you just may have hypothyroidism. If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, know that this is very common and highly treatable. And if you live in Miami Beach, there’s no better doctor to treat you than Dr. Alexander Lurie. Here is more about hypothyroidism, and what Dr. Lurie wants you to know about how to get help.
Butterfly-shaped and located at the lower part of your throat, the thyroid is an endocrine gland whose job it is to regulate the hormones that are secreted into the blood and subsequently, to every tissue in the body. It’s the thyroid’s job to help your organs function as they should. When the thyroid is unable to carry out this responsibility, your body can respond in any number of ways, to include losing hair, gaining weight, feeling sluggish and irritable, or feeling low or depressed. Your skin might feel dry and you may even start to experience constipation. Each of these symptoms ties back to a specific organ; when your thyroid isn’t working as it should, the functionality of these organs can be adversely affected.
For some, hypothyroidism can be asymptomatic; for others the symptoms can take hold of one’s life. Either way, you may be at higher risk of developing hypothyroidism if you have recently had a viral infection; have damaged your pituitary gland due to radiation, surgery or a tumor; have an autoimmune disease; or were born with a damaged or partly formed thyroid. Certain medications, too, can impact your thyroid’s functionality; these include amiodarone, lithium, interferon alpha and interleukin 2.
To accurately diagnose hypothyroidism, your doctor will conduct a medical screen, which includes a history of illness and treatments, any medications you have taken or are taking currently, and if your family has had a history of hypothyroidism. Expect a physical exam, during which your doctor will ask whether you have noticed any changes or concerns, such as dry skin, swelling, sluggishness, weight gain, or slower reflexes. Your doctor will draw blood as well as order TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) and T4 tests, both of which can determine whether your thyroid is functioning properly. Combined with your medical history, these tests will help the doctor determine whether you in fact have hypothyroidism, which in its most common forms likely will be either Hashimoto’s Disease or atrophic thyroiditis.
While there is no cure, know that under a doctor’s care hypothyroidism can very easily be managed. Treatments your doctor may offer include hormone (Thyroxine (T4)) replacement therapy, in which synthetic hormones are used to help restore your thyroid’s functionality. Your doctor may also recommend exercise, weight loss (if you have gained weight) and getting enough rest. With regular monitoring and treatment, your body will start to function as it should and you will start to notice positive change in time.
Endocrinologist in Miami Beach
For many people, especially women, the symptoms of hypothyroidism too often mirror the effects of a stressful life. Don’t assume you have to accept these symptoms as part of getting older. Rather, make an appointment with your endocrinologist. If you live in Miami Beach, you will want to reach out to Dr. Alexander Lurie, a renowned endocrinologist who specializes in treating women. Call him today at (305) 456-4840 or reserve an appointment online to get the treatment you need to live the life you want.