Thyroid Disease

Joseph R. Raccuglia, MD

Family Medicine located in Freehold Township, NJ

Your thyroid produces hormones that control many of your body’s basic functions, from metabolism to mood. Joseph R Raccuglia, MD, is an experienced family medicine provider in Freehold Township, New Jersey, who can test you for thyroid disease, and design the right treatment plan for you. For more information, call Joseph R Raccuglia, MD, or schedule a visit by booking online.

Thyroid Disease

What is thyroid disease?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the front of your neck that produces hormones, which control certain bodily functions — including mood, metabolism, digestion, and heart rate. Thyroid disease typically causes your thyroid to produce too much or too little of the hormone.

Women are about five to eight times more likely to experience thyroid problems than men. They are especially susceptible to thyroid disease after pregnancy or menopause.

Are there different types of thyroid disease?

There are two main types of thyroid disease that Dr. Raccuglia treats:

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid produces too much of the thyroid hormone, speeding up many of your body’s basic functions. The warning signs of hyperthyroidism are:

  • Weight loss
  • Eating more
  • Increased sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Feeling overly hot
  • Lighter menstrual cycles
  • Increased anxiety
  • Muscle weakness
  • Trembling hands
  • Red, bulging eyes
  • Rapid heart rate

The most common form of hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland.

Hypothyroidism

Far more common than hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid produces too little of the thyroid hormone. Many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Weight gain
  • Sluggishness
  • Depression
  • Dry skin
  • Slow heart rate
  • Constipation
  • Dry, thinning hair
  • Brittle nails
  • Joint pain or muscle pain
  • Changes in your voice
  • Decreased sweating
  • Increased menstrual bleeding
  • Feeling cold
  • Facial sweating

Hypothyroidism can also raise your cholesterol levels, which puts you at risk of heart disease.

How is thyroid disease treated?

How thyroid disease is treated depends on the type you have. In many cases, you can manage thyroid disease by paying attention to subtle symptoms, like fatigue or anxiety. Other common thyroid disease treatments include:

Medication

If you have hyperthyroidism, Dr. Raccuglia may recommend medication to stop your thyroid from producing too much thyroid hormone. Beta-blockers can also be helpful in slowing your fast heart rate and other symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

Most patients with hypothyroidism take medication every day to increase the production of the thyroid hormone.

Surgery

In rare cases, Dr. Raccuglia may recommend surgery to remove the thyroid if it’s producing too much thyroid hormone.

Diet

Changes in your diet, including eliminating gluten, can help improve the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Dr. Raccuglia may also recommend supplements, such as vitamin B-12, selenium, and zinc.

When left untreated, thyroid disease can lead to serious health complications, such as troubles getting pregnant. To learn more, call Joseph R Raccuglia, MD, or schedule an appointment online.