Posts for tag: thyroid
The thyroid is part of the body’s endocrine system, which is responsible for producing and releasing many of the hormones in the body. The thyroid produces two hormones that play a key role in regulating the metabolism, which is the body’s system for converting food into energy. When the thyroid does not function properly, various problems can develop. The physicians at Ear, Nose & Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center in Stafford and Fredericksburg, VA can diagnose thyroid conditions and develop a course of treatment to improve functioning.
The function of the Thyroid
The thyroid is a gland involved in the regulation of metabolism. One of its primary functions is to convert iodine from the diet into two hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). The cells in the thyroid are the only ones in the body with the ability to absorb iodine. Once absorbed, they convert the iodine by combining it with tyrosine, an amino acid. The hormones are then released into the bloodstream. As they travel throughout the body, T3 and T4 increase cellular activity and regulate cellular metabolism.
Thyroid problems can occur when there is either too little or too much of the T3 or T4 hormones. Some thyroid conditions include:
Hyperthyroidism — occurs when there is an overproduction of thyroxine (T4). Too much of the T4 hormone can speed up the body’s metabolism and cause unexplained weight loss. It can also lead to a rapid heartbeat. Other symptoms include shaky hands, sweatiness, frequent bowel movements, and tiredness.
Hypothyroidism — occurs when there is an underproduction of thyroid hormones. A deficiency in these hormones can affect metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate. Some symptoms associated with this condition include unexplained weight gain, fatigue, constipation, dry skin, feeling cold, and a slow heart rate.
Thyroid nodules & goiters — Nodules are small growths on the thyroid, while a goiter is a swollen or enlarged thyroid. Both conditions can make swallowing and breathing more difficult and are sometimes an indication of hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid.
Thyroid Cancer — Thyroid cancer is often first detected by the presence of nodules or a goiter. Other possible symptoms of thyroid cancer include swollen lymph nodes, neck pain, coughing, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and weight loss.
Treatment of Thyroid Conditions
See a physician if you are experiencing symptoms associated with any type of thyroid condition. The highly skilled doctors at our office in Stafford and Fredericksburg treat many thyroid conditions and can recommend a specific treatment approach for you. Hyperthyroidism can be treated with antithyroid medicine, while thyroid hormone pills are used to treat hypothyroidism. Treatment of thyroid nodules might involve surgical removal of them. Several methods can be used to treat thyroid cancer, including surgery, radioactive iodine treatment, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
We diagnose and treat thyroid conditions. If you are experiencing unusual symptoms, schedule an appointment with one of our experienced doctors for an evaluation of your thyroid by calling Ear, Nose & Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center of Fredericksburg at (540) 371-1226. We also have a location in Stafford, VA.
What your ENT specialists in Fredericksburg want you to know about thyroid cancer
You’ve probably heard about thyroid cancer; just the terminology is a bit unnerving. The good news is most cases of thyroid cancer can be treated successfully. The key to effective treatment is early detection, because early detection means an improved treatment outcome. The first step in early detection is to recognize the signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer and to seek out the skills of an expert as soon as possible. Your ear, nose and throat specialists at Ear, Nose and Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center in Stafford and Fredericksburg, VA are just the experts you need.
Many early cases of thyroid cancer have little or no symptoms, but as the cancer grows, you may begin to experience recognizable signs and symptoms. Your ENT specialists in Stafford and Fredericksburg want you to know that common signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer include:
- Swollen lymph nodes in your neck
- Pain in your throat or neck
- Difficult or painful swallowing
- Changes in your voice, including hoarseness
- A lump on your neck that can be felt through your skin
There are certain genetic and environmental factors that can increase your risk of thyroid cancer, including:
- If you are female
- If you have a family history of thyroid cancer or endocrine issues
- High levels of radiation exposure
If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of thyroid cancer, you need to visit your ENT specialist in Fredericksburg as soon as possible. During your visit, your doctor will perform a complete physical examination, including blood tests and imaging to make a diagnosis.
If you have thyroid cancer, try not to worry. Your ENT specialists are experts in thyroid cancer treatment and may recommend:
- Surgical therapy, which may include removing a portion of your thyroid, removing lymph nodes in your neck or removing your entire thyroid gland
- Radioactive iodine treatment, to destroy any remaining thyroid tissue to prevent the spread of cancer
- Thyroid hormone therapy, to replenish your missing thyroid hormone
If you are worried about thyroid cancer, the first step you need to take is to visit your ENT specialists. They can diagnose and treat your thyroid cancer so you can get on with your life. Don’t spend your life worrying; it’s time to call your ear, nose and throat specialists at Ear, Nose and Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center with offices in Fredericksburg and Stafford, Virginia. Find out more by calling today!
If you are suffering from a thyroid issue, you are not alone. Over 20 million Americans have thyroid disorders, and 12% of Americans will develop thyroid problems at some point in their lifetimes. However, your Fredericksburg, VA ear, nose and throat doctors at Ear, Nose and Throat Facial Plastic Surgery are here to make understanding the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders easy.
What is a thyroid?
The thyroid is a gland which produces hormones that affect various metabolic processes throughout your body. It is butterfly-shaped and located just under the Adam’s apple on the front of the neck. The main thyroid hormone is thyroxine, also called T4. This hormone affects how fast the body’s cells use their stored energy, a process known as metabolism.
What are some common thyroid conditions?
There are two main branches of thyroid disorders:
- Hyperthyroidism: This condition is due to an overproduction of thyroid hormone. Conditions causing hyperthyroidism include Graves’ disease, pituitary gland abnormalities, cancer and toxic adenomas.
Hyperthyroidism symptoms include:
- hand tremors
- mood swings
- excessive fatigue
- irregular heartbeat
- trouble sleeping
- Hypothyroidism: The opposite of hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Conditions which cause hypothyroidism include the autoimmune disorder Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the lack of a thyroid gland (usually due to surgical removal) and exposure to too much iodide (often found in some heart and cold/sinus medications).
Hypothyroidism symptoms include:
- rapid weight gain
- difficulty losing weight
- course or dry hair
- weakness and fatigue
- hair loss
- cold intolerance
How can my ear, nose and throat doctor help?
Your Fredericksburg ENT doctor takes many things into account while diagnosing thyroid disorders. Family and medical history, a physical examination and various tests help them determine the diagnosis. Treatment for thyroid disorders depends on your diagnosis. Common treatment includes medications to regulate the production of thyroid hormone and the use of low-dose radioactive iodine to destroy an overactive gland over a period of time. In some cases, patients benefit from surgery to remove the thyroid gland altogether.
For more information on thyroid issues and treatment options, please contact your doctor at Ear, Nose and Throat and Facial Plastic Surgery Center of Fredericksburg in Fredericksburg, VA. Call (540) 371-1226 to schedule your appointment or speak with an associate today!