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Thyroid disease — what it is and how to deal with it

The human body is an amazing machine. Without any effort or thought on our part, the brain, heart, muscles and other organs work together to keep us alive. One of the key players in our bodies is the thyroid gland, which can be viewed as the body’s engine. The thyroid regulates how fast your heart, brain and other organs work by telling the body to burn calories.

This butterfly-shaped gland is normally located in the lower front of the neck. This gland’s role is to make hormones known as T3 and T4, which are secreted into the blood to be carried throughout the body to every tissue. The primary function of these hormones is to control the rate at which cells perform their duties. These hormones tell the different body parts how much energy to use to keep the body operating effectively. This process of turning food into energy is referred to as the body’s metabolism. A properly functioning thyroid maintains the hormones at exactly the right rate to keep the metabolism operating effectively. The thyroid controls the release of the hormones and makes more as needed. So, when the body is active, the thyroid releases more hormones to keep the body moving.

When it isn’t working
If a thyroid is not maintaining the body’s metabolism, it is considered thyroid disease. About 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease. Basically, thyroid disease occurs when the thyroid is making too many or too few hormones. When the thyroid is making too many hormones, it is known as hyperthyroidism. Too many hormones cause the body to use energy too fast. The common symptoms of hyperthyroidism are irritability, muscle weakness, weight loss, sleep disturbance, heat sensitivity and vision issues. The gland is also often enlarged. Excessive iodine and Graves’ Disease are two of the triggers for hyperthyroidism.

The other type of thyroid condition, hypothyroidism, occurs when the thyroid does not make enough hormone, which causes the body to operate slower than it should. The symptoms include fatigue, forgetfulness, weight gain, dry skin, hoarse voice and sensitivity to cold. Hypothyroidism can be caused by inflammation of the gland, iodine deficiency or other conditions.

Monitoring the thyroid
Because the symptoms for thyroid disease are also symptoms for other diseases, it can be challenging to diagnose thyroid disease. However, there is a test that can identify the disorder even before symptoms develop. This test  is called the thyroid stimulating hormone test or TSH and is effective for identifying the disease before it becomes problematic. The Journal of the American Medical Association found that screening for mild thyroid failure in men and women over 35 is cost effective since it can catch the problem before symptoms develop and cause further health issues.

Treating thyroid disease
The method for treating thyroid disease is to come up with a way to restore normal levels of thyroid hormone in the blood. Hypothyroidism is usually addressed with a drug called levothyroxine, a synthetic hormone tablet that replaces the missing thyroid hormone in the body.

Hyperthyroidism is more challenging to treat because it requires slowing down thyroid hormone production. Drug therapy or radioactive iodine treatment are two ways used to restore normal function.

Thyroid disease is a life-long condition that needs to be regularly monitored. With proper management, people with thyroid disease can enjoy normal, healthy lives.

A time for special care
Illness or other medical events can affect your thyroid, especially if you have thyroid disease. During a time of recovery, it is important to carefully monitor your thyroid if you have thyroid disease. People who are living with chronic conditions like thyroid disease or diabetes, can benefit by recovering in a short-term care facility where all of their medical issues are monitored around the clock by compassionate and experienced staff.

Glenview Terrace offers this level of care where all the needs of each guest receive attention so recovery is as quick and problem-free as possible.

Each day, the experts at Glenview Terrace make sure all medical and rehabilitative needs are met, from outstanding therapy services in a cutting-edge therapy gym to compassionate care for pain and other medical concerns.

A stay at Glenview Terrace is all about you. Comfortable accommodations include elegantly appointed rooms and suites with bathrooms featuring walk-in showers. Thoughtful amenities for rehabilitation guests include morning coffee and newspaper delivery as well as concierge services. The beautifully landscaped grounds with a spacious patio and tranquil fountain also provide both an elegant and calming environment for recovery.

For a recovery with attention to all of your medical and personal needs, choose Glenview Terrace. For additional information or to arrange a tour, visit or call 847-729-9090.