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The Thyroid gland is located in the anterior portion of the neck and is part of the endocrine system. It produces thyroid hormones, T3 and T4, which are critical to the body’s overall function. These hormones play a central role in the regulation of body weight, energy levels, body temperature, skin, hair, nail growth and quality, and metabolism of food and nutrients. Most thyroid problems can be diagnosed and managed by a family doctor.

Prineville Primary Care 541-388-7799

Problems with the thyroid include overproduction of T3 and T4 which is called hyperthyroidism, underproduction referred to as hypothyroidism, and abnormal growths like cysts and cancer.

Hyperthyroidism: Signs include weight loss, increased appetite, palpitations, irregular menstrual cycle, tiredness, irritability, and hair thinning.

Hypothyroidism: Symptoms may include tiredness, mental depression, feeling cold, weight gain, dry skin, constipation, and menstrual irregularities.

Thyroid Cancer: Physical findings include, a neck mass or lump, voice changes like hoarseness, trouble swallowing, and or neck pain.

Diagnosing thyroid disorders is accomplished by speaking with your Prineville Primary Care doctor followed by a physical exam, blood work and often radiological imaging of the thyroid gland by ultrasound or advanced techniques like MRI.

Treatment of the disorder depends on the diagnosis. Hypothyroidism is often treated by thyroid hormone supplementation, taking a daily medication in the form of a pill. Hyperthyroidism often requires either removal or destruction of the gland. Removal is done surgically and destruction of a overactive toxic gland requires the administration of a nuclear medication that only targets the thyroid. Both of these treatments often render the patient with an underactive gland requiring daily medication for life. Cancer is almost always surgically removed and may or may not require adjuvant treatment like radiation or chemotherapy.

When should I see my doctor about my thyroid hormone levels?

Abnormal thyroid hormone levels often are associated with physical symptoms that are easily noticed. Thyroid hormone is responsible for controlling the body’s metabolism. An overactive gland will produce too much hormone causing a patient to feel warm when other are comfortable, increase the heart rate, increase the rate of hair and nail growth, have an increased apatite but not be associated with weight gain, and may experience frank weight loss. An underactive gland produces too little thyroid hormone and can cause weight gain, cause depression, slow the heart rate, make one feel cold when others are comfortable, and make the skin dry and hair brittle.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, Call Mountain Medical Today at 541-388-7799

  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss.
  • Slow or fast heart rate.
  • Intolerance to cold or heat.
  • Dry or moist skin.
  • Irregular menstrual cycles.

Prineville Primary Care 541-388-7799