The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck that regulates metabolism, heart rate, organ function as well as muscle control, and menstruation. When the thyroid is overactive, it produces too much of this hormone, and has disastrous effects on your overall health.
Traditional treatment has focused on medication or surgery to correct problems related to the thyroid. However, recent advances in treatment options have allowed doctors to harness the body’s own potential for healing problems related to an overactive thyroid.
What are the symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism?
It is easy to mistake the symptoms related to thyroid problems as results of other conditions, such as stress, cardiac problems, or other health-related issues.
The most frequently occurring symptoms of hyperthyroidism include the following:
- Elevated anxiety
- Increased sweating or sensitivity to heat
- Interruption of menstrual cycles
- Abnormal or rapid heartbeat
- Fatigue and muscle weakness throughout the body
- Disordered sleep patterns
- Increased appetite accompanied by unexplained weight loss
It is easy to see why these symptoms can be misdiagnosed for anxiety, depression, or dementia in older patients. This misdiagnosis often results in delays in proper treatment, which compound the problems of an overactive thyroid.
Causes and diagnosis of hyperthyroidism
The vast majority of hyperthyroidism is caused by the autoimmune disorder Grace’s disease, in which the immune system stimulates the thyroid to overproduce the regulatory hormones, causing the symptoms above. Hyperthyroidism can also be caused by a malfunctioning nodule within the gland or other immune problems or viral infections.
By measuring the amount of thyroid hormone in the blood and monitoring the heartbeat and size of the thyroid, your doctor can confirm the hyperthyroid diagnosis.
Treatment options for hyperthyroidism
Traditionally, treatment has consisted of a range of options from irradiated iodine to medication and beta blockers to surgery to remove most of the gland.
Recently, medical professionals have taken advantage of the body’s own cells and cell function to promote renewal and growth of healthy tissue and cells within the thyroid. By harnessing the power of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), the treatment team can inject the patient with a concentrated solution of platelets derived from a blood draw at the site of the tissue damage. Because the thyroid contains its own progenitor cells, the PRP can activate the healing and renewal processes within the cells of the thyroid tissue, sending messages to regrow and replace damaged cells.
Because so much of your body’s functioning depends on the regulatory controls found within the thyroid, it is important that you seek a proper diagnosis and treatment that fit your needs as soon as possible if you think your thyroid is not functioning properly.