The Truth About a Slow Thyroid

The Truth About a Slow Thyroid

by Patricia D. Cherasard PA-C, MBA
Chief Bariatric Surgical Physician Assistant
Winthrop Surgical Associates, PC

So you’ve been diagnosed with a Slow Thyroid (aka hypothyroidism). What does that mean?

It means your thyroid gland is not making enough thyroid hormones. Low Thyroid hormone levels can make you feel tired and weak. Untreated it can cause lasting effects to your whole body.

Your next question is what is a Thyroid Gland?

The Thyroid is a butterflyed shaped gland located in the front of your neck. It makes hormones that control the way your body uses energy.

So now you ask what do I do next ??????

The good news is that accurate thyroid functions tests are available to diagnosis and treat.

You should follow up with a primary care physician or endocrinologist for hormone treatments.

When hypothyroidism isn’t treated, signs and symptoms can gradually become more severe. Constant stimulation of your thyroid gland to release more hormones may lead to an enlarged thyroid (known as a goiter).

So what are the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism?

Signs and symptoms can vary, depending on the severity of the hormone deficiency.Fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin, unexplained weight gain, puffy face, hoarseness, muscle weakness, elevated blood cholesterol, muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness, joint pain and swelling, irregular menstrual periods, thinning hair, slowed heart rate, depression, impaired memory.

What are the causes?

There can be a number of causes, including autoimmune disease, congenital disease, pituitary disorder, pregnancy, iodine deficiency, treatment of hyperthyroidism, radiation therapy, thyroid surgery and certain medications (i.e. lithium).

What about weight gain/loss?

Many hypothyroid patients struggle with an inability to lose weight. If weight gain occurs with onset of symptoms then it is believed that with treatment successful weight loss should occur. So now you are taking your meds regularly but the weight doesn’t come off !!

Slow thyroid may not be the only reason for your weight gain. Change in your metabolism, insulin resistance, and increased cortisol levels from stress can also attribute to weight gain. With the help of taking proper hormone replacement medications, following a diet of healthy food choices, regular exercise and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle can help with successful weight loss.

The Winthrop Surgical Weight Loss Program offers bariatric surgery to those suffering from obesity in Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn and all of New York. Our three dedicated weight loss surgeons and staff provide safe and effective solutions to excess weight and morbid obesity.

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Patchogue, New York 11772
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