Thyroid hormones are vital chemical messengers that regulate essential functions, including metabolism. If you need treatment for a thyroid problem, Ramie A. Tritt, MD, of Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C. can help. He's a board-certified otolaryngologist who is highly skilled in diagnosing and treating thyroid disease, including performing thyroidectomy. Find out more about thyroid treatments by calling one of his two offices in Atlanta, Georgia, today, or schedule a consultation using the online booking form.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that plays a vital role in regulating your metabolism and other body functions. Two main problems might require thyroid treatment:
Hypothyroidism means having too little thyroid hormone in your system. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is the autoimmune disorder Hashimoto's thyroiditis. It causes weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, temperature intolerance, and depression, among other symptoms.
Hyperthyroidism means having too much thyroid hormone. Another autoimmune disorder — Graves' disease — is one of the most likely reasons for thyroid hormone overproduction. It can cause weight loss, nervousness, irregular heartbeat, raised blood pressure, and sweating.
Other conditions affecting the thyroid gland can alter hormone production, including thyroid cancer and inflammation or infection of the thyroid. Too much or too little iodine and certain medications can also affect your thyroid gland.
The treatment you need for your thyroid problem depends on whether you have too much or too little hormone in your body.
If you have hypothyroidism (not enough hormone), your provider at Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C. can prescribe medication to rebalance your hormone levels.
You need to take your medication every day and have regular blood tests to check your hormone levels, but this is an effective, long-term treatment that reverses the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
If you have hyperthyroidism (too much hormone), the aim is to slow down or stop hormone production. You might need to take radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid medication to achieve this. It can sometimes result in a switch from having too much hormone to too little.
You might need surgery for thyroid cancer, or if you have hyperthyroidism and are unable to tolerate nonsurgical treatments.
There are two main approaches to thyroid surgery:
A lobectomy is the surgical removal of the half of your thyroid that contains cancer. Often your surgeon also removes the isthmus that connects the two halves, or lobes.
Leaving part of your thyroid gland might mean you don't have to take thyroid hormone pills after your surgery.
Total thyroidectomy is the surgical removal of the whole thyroid gland. If your surgeon has to leave a small section behind, it's called a near-total thyroidectomy.
After this type of thyroid treatment, you need to take thyroid hormone pills every day because your body won't be producing any naturally.
To find out if you have thyroid disease and make sure you get the right thyroid treatment, call Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C. today or book an appointment online.