Grace Wong, M.D.
Internal Medicine located in Burbank, CA
More than 12% of Americans develop a thyroid condition at some point in their lifetime. For those in and around Burbank, California, internist Grace Wong, MD, offers excellent diagnostic and treatment services for hypothyroidism and other thyroid concerns. If you notice troubling changes that indicate a thyroid issue, schedule an appointment with Dr. Wong for a thorough diagnostic work-up. Your appointment is just a visit to the online scheduling tool or a quick phone call away.
What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a disorder in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce adequate thyroid hormone. To understand the condition, it helps to know a bit about the role your thyroid plays in your overall health.
Your thyroid gland is located in the lower front portion of your neck, just below your Adam’s apple. It’s shaped like a butterfly and manufactures hormones that control your metabolism. This relatively small body part affects every cell in your body, although you may never think about your thyroid until a problem arises.
Thyroid hormone regulates how your body converts oxygen and nutrients into energy. When you lack sufficient thyroid hormone, serious symptoms can arise.
What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?
The symptoms of hypothyroidism mimic those of many other health issues. That’s part of why thyroid conditions are often overlooked or misdiagnosed.
Some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Changes in menstrual cycle
- Slow heart rate
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Dry skin and hair loss
- Heightened sensitivity to cold
- Goiter, or swollen thyroid gland
- Unexplained weight gain and trouble shedding pounds
As you can see, there is no rhyme or reason for the symptoms of hypothyroidism. The best way to find answers is to listen to the messages your body sends and seek professional diagnostic services if you notice unusual changes.
What causes hypothyroidism?
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or inflammation of the thyroid. This autoimmune disorder triggers your body to mistakenly attack and damage your thyroid gland.
Additional causes include:
- Radiation therapy in the neck area
- Viral infection
- Certain medications
- Insufficient dietary iodine
- Thyroid surgery
- Congenital defect
- Problems with your pituitary gland
- Hypothalamus disorders
In some cases, there is no clear indication of what caused your hypothyroidism.
What are treatment options for hypothyroidism?
The primary treatment for hypothyroidism is supplementation using a synthetic thyroid hormone. It’s important to share the full details of your prescription medications with Dr. Wong, as certain drugs can alter your body’s ability to use this synthetic hormone.
Ongoing blood tests are needed to monitor your levels of thyroid hormone. Dr. Wong adjusts your medication as needed. Be sure to schedule an appointment if you notice changes in your overall health.
To learn more about diagnostic and treatment services for hypothyroidism, book a visit with Dr. Wong today. You can schedule a visit by phone, or try the simple online scheduling tool.