Thyroid problems are common, especially in women over age 60. Board-certified internal medicine physician Mano Zachariah, MD, diagnoses and treats thyroid problems, including hypothyroidism, at TotalMedMD in Orangeburg, New York. If you think you may have a thyroid problem, call or book an appointment online for personal and accessible care.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that sits just above your collarbone. This gland is part of your endocrine system, which means it makes hormones.
The hormones your thyroid produces control the speed of many activities in your body, including how fast you burn calories and how quickly your heart beats. Together, these activities make up your body’s metabolism.
If your thyroid gland is underactive or doesn’t produce enough hormones, that’s called hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism symptoms vary from person to person. Common signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
For women in their reproductive years, hypothyroidism may also cause heavy or irregular menstrual period and difficulty getting pregnant.
Anyone can develop hypothyroidism. However, certain factors may increase your risk of developing this condition, such as:
The autoimmune disorder Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Taking certain medications, such as lithium for psychiatric disorders, can also contribute to hypothyroidism.
First, Dr. Zachariah performs a physical exam and reviews your medical history. If he suspects you may have hypothyroidism, he confirms the diagnosis with a blood test. If you’re a woman over age 60 or have other risk factors for hypothyroidism, this blood test may be part of your routine exam.
Treatment for hypothyroidism involves taking oral synthetic thyroid hormones every day. You should notice the effects of the medicine within one to two weeks, including an increase in energy and gradual weight loss.
Since hypothyroidism is usually a lifetime condition, Dr. Zachariah may recommend testing your thyroid levels on a regular basis to make sure you’re taking the right amount of medication.
To find out if you have an underactive thyroid gland, call TotalMedMD or book an appointment online today.