Jason Leonard, MD, FAAFP, DABOM
Board-Certified Family Practice Physician & Board-Certified Obesity Medicine Specialist located in Sumter, SC & Columbia, SC
About 12% of Americans are living with a thyroid disorder. That’s nearly 20 million people, and fewer than half of them are aware of their condition. Thyroid problems can cause a range of symptoms, from unexplained fatigue to weight gain. Talk to Jason Leonard, MD, FAAFP, DABOM, if you think you could be suffering from thyroid problems. Book an appointment online or call one of the offices located in Columbia and Sumter, South Carolina today.
Thyroid Q & A
What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a small gland located on the front of your neck, just below your Adam’s apple. It’s shaped like an H and it straddles your windpipe. When your thyroid is healthy, you can’t see or feel it in your neck. If your thyroid is enlarged, it could be a sign of a thyroid disorder.
The thyroid creates several different hormones, which act as chemical messengers throughout your body. Thyroid hormones help control a range of functions, from metabolism and body temperature to growth and development. Up to 12% of Americans have a thyroid disorder, which develops when the thyroid hormones are disrupted.
What causes thyroid disorders?
Thyroid hormones are essential, but sometimes hormones get out of balance and cause various symptoms throughout the body. There are many different kinds of thyroid disorders, but the two most common are hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).
Hypothyroidism means your thyroid doesn’t make enough hormones. Common causes of hypothyroidism are pituitary disorder and autoimmune disease. Some prescription medications used to treat other conditions may also cause hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism is the opposite of hypothyroidism, and it occurs when your thyroid hormone levels are elevated. It’s less common than hypothyroidism, and it could be caused by thyroiditis, Graves’ disease, or toxic multinodular goiter.
What are the symptoms of a thyroid disorder?
Thyroid disorders can have an impact on the way you feel both physically and mentally. They affect the body in numerous ways, but the symptoms you experience depend on the type of disorder you have.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism often include:
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Body aches
- Dry skin or hair
- High cholesterol
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Unexplained weight loss
- Difficulty sleeping
- Irritability or nervousness
- Frequent bowel movements
Dr. Leonard offers diagnostic testing for thyroid disorders, which usually involves a blood draw. If he identifies a thyroid disorder, he can provide an evidence-based treatment plan tailored to the type of disorder you have and the severity of your condition.
You don’t have to suffer the symptoms of a thyroid disorder in silence. Dr. Leonard offers treatments to balance your hormone levels and improve your quality of life. Call the office nearest you or book online to get started.