Thyroid Problems Kirkland, WA
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the neck. It is responsible for producing hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. The two main thyroid hormones are called triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). T3 and T4 are responsible for regulating the body's metabolism, heart rate and temperature.
A well-functioning thyroid helps the body convert food into much-needed energy.When the thyroid develops problems, it secretes either too much or too littlle of these hormones. This, in turn, affects the body’s functions and eventually, the individual’s quality of life.
Types of Thyroid Disorders
Thyroid disorders affect about 12% of the population. There is a higher incidence of this condition in women as opposed to men. Some common thyroid disorders are:
Hypothyroidism is a result of the inadequate production of the necessary thyroid hormones (T3 and T4). Some of its symptoms include weight gain, constipation, hair loss, fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, memory problems and even depression.The main treatment for this type of thyroid disease is to take pills to help jumpstart the gland and stimulate hormone production.If left untreated and severe hypothyroidism occurs, it may trigger Myxedema coma, a rare and life-threatening condition that leads to hypothermia, low body temperature, low blood pressure, a decreased mental status, and a loss of consciousness. In some cases, untreated hypothyroidism could become fatal.
When the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much hormones, it causes hyperthyroidism.This condition affects about 1 percent of women but is less common in men. Graves’ disease is one of the most common causes of an overactive thyroid and affects about 70% of those with a hyperthyroid disorder.Some of the symptoms of excessive hormone production are irritability, restlessness, nervousness, increased sweating, shaking, anxiety, brittle hair and nails, muscle weakness, weight loss and bulging eyes (in Graves' disease). Treatments for hyperthyroidism include drugs that may block or even destroy the thyroid gland from producing hormones. As with all types of treatment, it is best to make an informed choice with your doctor.On the other hand, if left untreated, a hyperthyroid condition could result in a thyroid storm, which is a potentially life-threatening state. A thyroid storm may be triggered by stress and is characterized by high fever, delirium, high blood pressure, and severe agitation.These are symptoms that you need to be on the lookout for, in a person with known hyperthyroidism.Although it is quite rare, it is also fatal.
- Hashimoto’s disease
Hashimoto’s disease is also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid, eventually destroying the gland and its capacity for proper hormone production. In the US, it affects about 14 million Americans and can occur at any age.Again, it is more common in middle-aged women.This type of thyroid disease has very subtle symptoms that may often be missed, such as constipation, fatigue, mild weight gain, intolerance to cold, dry skin, thinning hair, depression, and a pale or puffy face, among others.Hashimoto’s disease usually progresses slowly and the patient remains stable for years.There is no known cure for the disorder and hormone-replacing medication is often used.Sometimes surgery may be needed to remove the thyroid altogether.However, this only happens in advanced cases and is usually quite rare.
A goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid and happens when the gland swells up.It is non-cancerous and is often a cause of major discomfort.Previously, it was caused by a lack of iodine in the diet.But these days, the use of iodized salt in our food has prevented most goiters.If the goiter is mild, there may be almost no symptoms at all, some of which include, a hoarse voice, coughing or wheezing, difficulty in swallowing or breathing, and swelling or tightness in the neck.Goiter is a very manageable thyroid disorder and should not be a major cause of concern as long as it is treated properly.Treatment includes taking small doses of iodine if the disease is caused by a lack of it in the diet.
Nodules are growths found on the thyroid gland. As with other types of thyroid disorders, they occur more often in women and the risk increases with age, as well.Most nodules are benign and do not require treatment.When a nodule grows large enough however, the individual may experience symptoms such as difficulties in breathing and swallowing, swelling in the neck, pain and goiter. As mentioned, most nodules are benign, but nodules that are found to be cancerous are classified as thyroid cancer.This type of cancer is rare and only occurs in about four to five percent of the population.When a patient is diagnosed with thyroid cancer, a doctor may recommend removing the thyroid through surgery or radiation therapy before the cancer spreads. Chemotherapy may also be done if it is found that the cancer has spread.Similar to other thyroid disorders, treatment is best done during the early stages of the disease.
Prevention and Treatment
For the most part, thyroid disorders cannot be prevented.However, if properly diagnosed and treated early, most thyroid problems are manageable and cannot stop you from enjoying a full and productive life.
These days there are several ways to go about treating a thyroid dysfunction.Traditional or mainstream methods, of course, are still available and effective. However, traditional medicine is mostly focused on hormone replacement using medication. It is a cookie-cutter approach to treating a disease that could have many possible causes or triggers.While effective, it is also disruptive to the body’s natural processes.
On the other hand, there are also natural ways to manage and control thyroid disorders. These natural methods incorporate functional and naturopathic approaches. Proper diet, vitamin-intake, stress management, and avoidance of possible environmental triggers that may aggravate thyroid problems, are included in the patient’s treatment.
A more comprehensive analysis and approach is needed for today’s patients. This approach combines both traditional and functional methods for treating thyroid dysfunction to provide those with this disorder, the best way to cope.
Treat your Thyroid Disorders at the Kirkland Health Institute in Kirkland, WA
As advances in medical research and technology are made, more and more people are discovering the advantages of a holistic approach to handling thyroid problems. We have numerous testimonials from patients whose lives have turned around completely after having tried this approach.
If you live in or around the Washington area, you may want to ask your doctor about functional and naturopathic ways to help treat your thyroid disorder. This approach involves more than just taking a thyroid pill. It also includes exercise, proper diet, stress reduction, supplements, and detoxification from heavy metals such as mercury and lead and petrochemical toxins such as pesticides and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs).
At the Kirkland Health Institute in Kirkland, WA we provide both traditional and functional methods of treating thyroid disorders with the best results.Our integrative approach to patient care takes an all-encompassing view of your health.Overall wellness is our goal after all, so you won’t fail to notice a marked improvement in the quality of your life. We don’t believe in a cookie-cutter approach to medicine that most medical institutions do, therefore our treatment recommendations will be specific to your situation. Call us today and experience our life-changing care for yourself!