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Thyroid imbalance : Investigations , treatment and Symptoms

A simple blood test can determine if the thyroid hormones in the body are within a normal range. A high level of TSH indicates reduced secretion ofT3 and T4. The levels can also be determined by measu

Investigations:

A simple blood test can determine if the thyroid hormones in the body are within a normal range. A high level of TSH indicates reduced secretion ofT3 and T4. The levels can also be determined by measuring only TSH, which is not necessary unless there is an abnormal T3 or T4 present.

The blood test can also help to rule out any other problems that may be present. In the case of an underactive thyroid, the level of T3 or T4 will be low, while in an overactive thyroid gland, the levels are high.

Treatment:

Depending on how far the disease has progressed and what the symptoms are, treatment is started immediately. Hypothyroidism present for less than a year is usually treated with replacement doses of synthetic hormone, while those who have had the condition for more than a year may need both synthetic hormones and hormone extractions from the thyroid gland (thyroid gland surgery). In hypothyroidism due to removal of the thyroid gland, synthetic hormone replacement is given.

 

What are the symptoms of thyroid imbalance?

* Increased sensitivity to cold. The individual feels cold all the time and has difficulty in keeping warm. Even when the weather is hot he/she feels chilly!

(This may be due to low levels of T3 and T4

* Fatigue, the feeling of being drained, lack of enthusiasm, or low energy levels. (Low levels of T3 and T4)

* Feeling 'upset', irritable, moody or depressed. (This is due to low levels of T3 and T4)

* Headaches. (This is often caused by stress, but with hypothyroidism, it may be due to low levels of T3 andT4 causing reduced blood flow to the brain.)

(See Thyroid patient stories at http://www.drpeterwong.com for more symptoms.)

Early diagnosis is important because if you have a thyroid problem, it will not go away on its own and you might need treatment. But, do bear in mind that the symptoms of a thyroid disorder differ from one person to another, and are often difficult to recognize. It can sometimes take years or decades before hypothyroidism is diagnosed.

The most common symptom of hypothyroidism is weight gain, which leads to obesity. But this may not always be apparent if you are thin or slight at the start but have gained weight over a period of time. Even those who do not experience weight gain can also suffer from other symptoms like lethargy, increased sensitivity to cold, muscle weakness, and frailty.

The symptoms of hyperthyroidism are usually very obvious, such as weight loss, thinning of the outer edges of the eyebrows, bulging eyes or protruding eyeballs, hoarseness of voice, or thyroid nodules in the neck area. So it is important to think of your symptoms carefully and consult a doctor if you think that something might be wrong.

Thyroid disorders are treated by taking thyroid hormone supplements. You should always take the prescribed dose of hormones as it differs from person to person depending on their age, gender, and overall health status. In the case of hypothyroidism, T3 and T4 hormones are given to replace those which have been lost in the body. They act as replacement hormones. In some cases, T3 and T4 may also be extracted from the thyroid gland under local anesthesia.

In hyperthyroidism, synthetic hormone is used to slow down the functioning of an overactive thyroid gland so that its activity comes to the normal range.

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