More than 12% of Americans will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime, and there’s a good chance that they won’t know it. In fact, up to 60% of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition. At Atlanta Endocrine Associates, Dr. Scott Isaacs offers expert diagnosis and state-of-the-art treatment of all thyroid conditions, including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and Graves’ disease. To learn more, contact the office in Atlanta, or request an appointment online.
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the middle of your neck just above your collarbone. The thyroid regulates your body's metabolism — the rate at which your body produces energy from nutrients and oxygen — and affects critical functions, such as your energy level and heart rate.
Thyroid disorders can range from harmless goiters that don’t need any treatment to life-threatening thyroid cancer. The most common thyroid disorders have to do with the abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Some of these disorders include:
A condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. Symptoms include extreme fatigue, depression, forgetfulness, and some weight gain. Hashimoto's disease is the most common form of hypothyroidism.
A condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms include irritability, nervousness, muscle weakness, unexplained weight loss, sleep disturbances, vision problems, and eye irritation.
A type of hyperthyroidism, this condition is a genetic autoimmune disorder affecting 1% of the population. It’s more common among women under age 40, and symptoms include hand tremors and bulging or puffy eyes.
Thyroid nodules are lumps that commonly arise within the thyroid gland. 30% of young women have a nodule in their thyroid gland but since most don’t produce any symptoms, they are not aware of it. Although most thyroid nodules are benign, up to 5% can be thyroid cancer so evaluation by an expert is important.
The causes of thyroid problems are largely unknown. However, women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems. Luckily, when thyroid disease is caught early, treatment can control the disorder even before the onset of symptoms.
To diagnose thyroid disorders, Dr. Isaacs uses your medical history, physical exam, thyroid tests, and sometimes ultrasound, biopsy or other tests.
There are a variety of options available for treating hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Treatment of hypothyroidism usually consists of replacing missing thyroid hormones and monitoring hormone levels with blood tests and symptom reviews. Dr. Isaacs is open to all thyroid treatments with the goal of eliminating symptoms and restoring normal thyroid levels.
Hyperthyroidism requires specialized expert treatment by an endocrinologist. Options include drug therapy to block hormone production, radioactive iodine treatment, or even thyroid surgery to remove all or part of the entire gland.
If you have a thyroid issue, it’s important to see Dr. Isaacs regularly, so that you can keep your thyroid hormone levels in the normal range to keep your body functioning optimally. To schedule an appointment at Atlanta Endocrine Associates, call the office or book an appointment online.