Get the information you need to know about thyroid health in women
Most women don’t give their thyroid gland much thought until they have problems. However, thyroid health in women is critical for wellness, as this gland controls metabolism. Additionally, thyroid disease can cause a variety of problems. As such, our physicians carefully monitor and treat thyroid conditions during pregnancy.
How do the physicians at Athens ObGyn monitor thyroid health in women?
Our doctors always check the thyroid during annual wellness exams. The thyroid gland wraps around the windpipe, or trachea, at the front of the throat. Our physicians ask patients to swallow and examine the neck area and thyroid.
They also monitor the skin, eyes and weight for changes that might signify a thyroid problem. If our staff detects a potential problem, they may order blood tests, a thyroid scan or an ultrasound to determine what is wrong.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is overactive
Hyperthyroidism speeds up the metabolism. It usually affects women between the ages of 20 and 40. Graves’ disease often causes this problem. Here are the symptoms.
- Weight loss
- Feeling nervous, irritable or anxious
- Sleep issues
- Enlarged thyroid gland or a goiter
- Irregular periods or no periods
- Increased sensitivity to heat
- Vision problems
- Irritated eyes
Treatment for this condition ranges from medication to surgery.
Hypothyroidism happens when the thyroid gland isn’t active enough
When the body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, it affects metabolism. Thyroiditis, or inflammation of the thyroid, is the most common cause. Hypothyroidism is the most common problem when it comes to thyroid health in women. Here are some of the symptoms, which may develop slowly over time.
- Gaining weight
- Feeling weak or fatigued
- Decreased appetite
- Loss of sex drive
- Menstrual changes
- Feeling colder than before
- Puffy eyes
- Losing hair
- Brittle nails
- Achy muscles
In almost all cases, the treatment is medication for hypothyroidism.
Thyroid conditions during pregnancy
In utero, a baby gets thyroid hormones from its mother, especially during the first three months of gestation. By week 12, the baby produces his or her own thyroid hormones, but not enough to rely on them until about week 20 of pregnancy.
Thyroid conditions during pregnancy aren’t always easy to diagnose. However, our physicians have the experience and training to detect and monitor new and existing conditions during pregnancy. Our doctors also treat women with hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism during pregnancy. Additionally, they treat those who develop postpartum thyroiditis in the year after giving birth. Contact us for an appointment or to learn more about thyroid health in women.