• Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

An introduction to hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism

An introduction to hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism

January is Thyroid Consciousness Month so we spoke with Dr. Scott McCusker, Ear, Nostril and Throat specialist with Dignity Well being Mercy Medical Group to study frequent thyroid illnesses like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. 

What are thyroid illnesses?

“The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland within the entrance of your neck that makes thyroid hormones, that are our major regulator of metabolism,” says Dr. McCusker. “Thyroid hormones management the best way your physique makes use of vitality, in order that they have an effect on practically each organ in your physique. The 2 commonest thyroid illnesses are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.”

Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid just isn’t making sufficient thyroid hormones, or beneath exercise, whereas hyperthyroidism is the place your thyroid is making an excessive amount of thyroid hormone, or over exercise. 

Almost 5 out of 100 Individuals ages 12 and older have hypothyroidism, and about 1 out of 100 Individuals ages 12 years and older have hyperthyroidism. Ladies and folks over the age of 60 usually tend to develop a thyroid illness. 

What are frequent thyroid illness signs?

“We would like the thyroid to secrete sufficient hormones to maintain our metabolism regular. We don’t need it to create too little or an excessive amount of,” says Dr. McCusker. “Nonetheless, a lot of its signs are the identical as these of different illnesses, so be sure you focus on your issues together with your physician or an endocrinologist.” 

Widespread Signs



Sensitivity to chilly
Unintentional weight achieve
Muscle weak spot
Gradual coronary heart fee
Decreased urge for food
Low physique temperature
Reminiscence impairment
Dry pores and skin, thinning hair

Racing coronary heart, nervousness, anxiousness and irritability
Sensitivity to warmth
Unintentional weight reduction
Muscle weak spot
Extra frequent bowel motion
Elevated urge for food
Excessive physique temperature
Temper swings


How are thyroid illnesses recognized?“A thyroid analysis can’t be given primarily based on signs alone, says Dr. McCusker. “Your physician might use a number of exams to verify the analysis and discover its trigger together with a bodily examination, blood work, and imaging exams.”

How are thyroid illnesses handled?“Whereas most thyroid illnesses are persistent, or a lifelong medical situation, most sufferers can enhance their high quality of life with correct therapy,” says Dr. McCusker.

As thyroid illness varies from individual to individual, the method to therapy additionally varies. 

With hypothyroidism, usually, treatment is used to switch the hormones that your thyroid can not make. Your physician will monitor your blood and alter as wanted till the right dose has been decided. When you begin taking treatment, it’s seemingly that you’ll want to proceed taking treatment for all times. 

With hyperthyroidism, there isn’t any single therapy that works for everybody, as therapy will rely on what’s inflicting your hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is commonly handled with drugs or surgical procedure to take away half, or most of, the thyroid gland. Like hypothyroidism, when you begin taking treatment, it’s seemingly that you’ll want to proceed taking treatment for all times.

Key TakeawayThyroid illness signs can negatively impression your high quality of life, however with the suitable therapy and plan of care, folks can reside a standard life.


When you suspect you will have a thyroid illness, schedule an appointment together with your major care doctor. Our “Discover a Physician” software will help you discover a Dignity Well being doctor close to you.


Meet Scott McCusker, MD

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