Self-diagnosis is tricky thing, but you know your own body, so if things seem off, don’t ignore the signs of a potential medical problem. If you are experiencing certain symptoms that you can’t explain — like joint stiffness, excessive fatigue, and unexplained weight gain, to name a few — you may be suffering from an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism.
There’s nothing we at the Firshein Center like more than being able to tell you that you’re fine and all is well, but we also want to help you fully understand why you may not be feeling well. When you come into the office to see Dr. Richard Firshein, we use integrative medicine to explore the issues you’re having. We determine if you do, in fact, have hypothyroidism.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid is not making enough of certain specific and important hormones your body needs. If you start to notice any of the following symptoms, call us and schedule an appointment for further testing.
- A swollen face
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- A hoarse voice or loss of your voice
- Weakness, aches, or pain in your muscles
- Swollen and stiff joints or joint pain
- Thinning hair
- Slower than normal heart rate
- Excessive fatigue
- Weight gain
- An enlarged thyroid gland
Other symptoms may include being more sensitive to the cold and dry skin. Women may experience irregular menstrual periods or ones that are heavier than normal.
Keep in mind that you may not have any symptoms of hypothyroidism early on, but if you begin to notice some things that seem unusual and persistent, give us a call. If you don’t get treatment for hypothyroidism, it can lead to other serious health problems like heart disease, obesity, infertility, and pain in your joints.
The best treatment options for hypothyroidism
Dr. Firshein uses special blood tests that measure thyroid hormones in the blood. Once he identifies the situation, he comes up with the best course of action for your individual needs. The standard treatment for hypothyroidism is an oral medication that you take daily. It’s the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine, of which there are several brands, though there’s also a natural extract that may be appropriate for you.
The medication works by restoring your hormone levels and actually also lowers your cholesterol and can possibly control or even reverse your weight gain. While you will most likely be on the medication for the rest of your life, Dr. Firshein schedules regular checkups to see how you are doing and adjusts the dosage if need be.
There are potential side effects if you have too much of the hormone, so notify our office if you have trouble sleeping, have heart palpitations, are shaking, or have an unusual increased appetite.
Because Dr. Firshein believes that there is not just one treatment that fits all, he discusses a variety of options with you. IV therapy is an advanced and natural supportive treatment that he may also recommend. It’s an amazing way of getting much needed vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and other nutrients directly into your cells through your bloodstream. It also helps detox your body, boost your immunity, and flush your system out.
Call us for an appointment to learn more about hypothyroidism, or you can easily request one online right here.