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Is Hypothyroidism The Same As Thyroid Disease

Is It Hypothyroidism Or Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid Disease (Hyperthyroidism vs. Hypothyroidism)

Although thyroid disease is common in the United States, thyroid cancer is extremely rare. Find out how thyroid cancer differs from other thyroid conditions, such as hypothyroidism.

Your thyroid is only about the size of your thumb, but it’s got an important job. This tiny butterfly-shaped gland situated in your neck just above your collarbone produces a hormone that controls the rate of many activities in your body, including how fast your heart beats and how quickly you burn calories. So when your thyroid isn’t working properly, you may notice changes in your energy level, your mood, and your waistline.

However, some thyroid disorders, including thyroid cancer, may be stealthy. In fact, more than half of the estimated 20 million Americans with some form of thyroid disease are unaware of their condition. A good way to protect your health is to learn more about thyroid conditions, like hypothyroidism and thyroid cancer, so you can assess your risk and address any concerns you have with your doctor.

How Is Thyroid Cancer Diagnosed

If you have an enlarged thyroid nodule or other signs of thyroid cancer, your healthcare provider may order one or more of these tests:

  • Blood tests: A thyroid blood test checks hormone levels and gauges whether your thyroid is functioning properly.
  • Biopsy: During a fine-needle aspiration biopsy, your healthcare provider removes cells from your thyroid to test for cancer cells. A sentinel node biopsy can determine if cancer cells have spread to lymph nodes. Your provider may use ultrasound technology to guide these biopsy procedures.
  • Radioiodine scan: This test can detect thyroid cancer and determine if cancer has spread. You swallow a pill containing a safe amount of radioactive iodine . Over a few hours, the thyroid gland absorbs the iodine. Your healthcare provider uses a special device to measure the amount of radiation in the gland. Areas with less radioactivity need more testing to confirm the presence of cancer.
  • Imaging scans:Magnetic resonance imaging , computed tomography and positron emission tomography scans can detect thyroid cancer and cancer spread.

High Thyroid & Low Cholesterol

While itâs usually good, sometimes low cholesterol is a bad sign. A sudden drop can be a sign of an overactive thyroid.

In hyperthyroidism, your thyroid produces too much T3 and T4. High levels of these hormones speed up processes in your body, leading to:

  • Anxiety
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Rapid heartbeat

Interestingly, while hyperthyroidism is linked to low cholesterol, high cholesterol may be linked to a hyperthyroidism-related complication.

Gravesâ disease is an autoimmune condition that causes hyperthyroidism. It sometimes involves an eye disease called orbitopathy. Increased levels of LDL and total cholesterol are risk factors for orbitopathy.

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What Is The Thyroid

The thyroid gland is a small organ thats located in the front of the neck, wrapped around the windpipe . Its shaped like a butterfly, smaller in the middle with two wide wings that extend around the side of your throat. The thyroid is a gland. You have glands throughout your body, where they create and release substances that help your body do a specific thing. Your thyroid makes hormones that help control many vital functions of your body.

When your thyroid doesnt work properly, it can impact your entire body. If your body makes too much thyroid hormone, you can develop a condition called hyperthyroidism. If your body makes too little thyroid hormone, its called hypothyroidism. Both conditions are serious and need to be treated by your healthcare provider.

Healthy Lifestyle To Boost Thyroid Function

Pin on Hashimotos + Thyroid

Hypothyroidism can be a challenging disease to treat and anyone who has suffered from the condition can attest to the many trials and tribulations that it presents.

No need to fear, though. A healthy lifestyle complemented by a few natural thyroid-enhancing remedies can make it easier than ever to help promote hormone production and alleviate the symptoms that are accompanied by an underactive thyroid gland.

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Treatment For Hashimotos Disease

With treatment, the outlook for most people with Hashimotos disease is excellent. Treatment usually includes medication with the synthetic thyroid hormone . The doctor will recommend regular blood tests to monitor your thyroid hormone levels to ensure they are within the recommended range.You will need to take the medication for life. Medication does not cure the condition, but helps maintain normal thyroid hormone levels. The symptoms will return if thyroid medication is stopped. Surgery may be required if the enlarged gland causes pressure symptoms.

Treatment Is Different For Each Condition

Perhaps the most important distinction between these two conditions is the fact that each one is treated differently!

This may come as a surprise to you, however, because most physicians are not concerned about distinguishing between hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s.

I’ll explain why:

Doctors, including endocrinologists, believe that it isn’t necessary to treat Hashimoto’s for two main reasons.

The first is the fact that autoimmune diseases can’t really be treated with conventional medicines .

The second is because they feel that most cases of Hashimoto’s will ultimately end up causing hypothyroidism and that you will eventually need to be on thyroid medication anyway.

So, the logic goes, let’s just wait until your thyroid gland is destroyed enough that it impacts thyroid function negatively and put you on thyroid medication and then call it a day.

This obviously doesn’t sit well with most people who would like to at least try to prevent this damage from occurring.

And, believe it or not, there are a great many people who strongly believe that certain therapies may be able to prevent the so-called inevitable decline of thyroid function in your body.

The reasons that most conventional doctors including family practice doctors and endocrinologists don’t believe in this approach is because there aren’t clinical studies to fall back on to prove that these therapies are effective.

But just because there aren’t studies proving that they work doesn’t mean that they don’t!

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Hashimoto Disease Vs Hypothyroidism

Eventually, Hashimotos patients will realize an increase in either or both of their thyroid antibodies. A substantial group of patients with a few antibodies below the range but do not have Hashimotos, or any of its symptoms .A large group of patients with Hashis must avoid gluten. For the patients with hypothyroidism, consumption of foods with gluten causes no harm. These seem to manage the gluten levels though through the intake of moderate to low gluten levels in foods.

Causes Of Hashimotos Syndrome

Difference Between Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s

While the exact cause of Hashimotos Syndrome is not known, it is thought that several factors may play a role in the development of this disease, including:

  • It often affects people who have family members with thyroid disorders or autoimmune diseases. This suggests that there may be a genetic component to Hashimotos syndrome.
  • Autoimmune Disorder. Individuals who have other autoimmune disorders such as Addisons disease, autoimmune hepatitis, celiac disease, lupus, type 1 diabetes, pernicious anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögrens syndrome, and vitiligo have been linked to Hashimotos syndrome.
  • Hashimotos syndrome affects as many as 7-8X more women than men, which suggests that sex hormones may play a role in its occurrence.
  • While the syndrome can occur even in teenage years or early adulthood, it more commonly occurs in middle-aged patients.
  • Radiation Exposure. Individuals who have been exposed to excessive levels of radiation may be at increased risk of Hashimotos syndrome.

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How Is Hashimoto Thyroiditis Treated

Patients with elevated TPO antibodies but normal thyroid function tests do not require treatment. Patient with only a slightly elevated TSH may not require medication and should have repeat testing after 3-6 months if this has not already been done. For patients with overt hypothyroidism treatment consists of thyroid hormone replacement . Synthetic levothyroxine taken orally at an appropriate dose, is inexpensive, very effective in restoring normal thyroid hormone levels, and results in an improvement of symptoms of hypothyroidism. Most patients with Hashimotos thyroiditis will require lifelong treatment with levothyroxine. Finding the appropriate dose, particularly at the beginning, may require testing with TSH every 6-8 weeks after any dose adjustment, until the correct dose is determined. After that, monitoring of TSH once a year is generally sufficient.

When levothyroxine is taken in the appropriate dose, it has no side effects. However, when an insufficient dose is taken, serum TSH remains elevated and patients may have persistent symptoms of hypothyroidism . If the dose is excessive, serum TSH will become suppressed and patients may develop symptoms of hyperthyroidism or have other side effects .

Genes Play A Role In Thyroid Cancers

Dr. Nasr has found that even thyroid cancers that arentconsidered hereditary can have a family link. Ive had situations wheremultiple family members have had the type of thyroid cancer thats usually nothereditary, he says.

Clustering of cancers in families isnt unique to thyroidcancer. Some families carry a mutation that suppresses good genes in thebody, which can put them at risk for a variety of cancers.

Different syndromes can increase someones risk for certain types of cancer, Dr. Nasr explains. Cowdens syndrome, for example, increases your risk of thyroid, breast and uterine cancers. Your family history may not include thyroid cancer, but if we see a lot of breast and uterine cancers, we may want to investigate whether there is a syndrome that puts you at risk for thyroid nodules or cancer.

The takeaway: As with the autoimmune disorders, knowyour family history. This information helps your healthcare team find patterns thatmight indicate thyroid disease-causing gene mutations lurking in the background.

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How Is Hypothyroidism Diagnosed

It can actually be difficult to diagnose hypothyroidism because the symptoms can be easily confused with other conditions. If you have any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, talk to your healthcare provider. The main way to diagnose hypothyroidism is a blood test called the thyroid stimulating hormone test. Your healthcare provider may also order blood tests for conditions like Hashimotos disease. If the thyroid is enlarged, your provider may be able to feel it during a physical exam during an appointment.

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My Hypothyroidism Diagnosis Made Me Finally Feel Like I Belong

SYMPTOMS OF HYPOTHYROIDISM IN WOMEN

On August 17th, I got diagnosed with hypothyroidism and autoimmune disease, and it has left me feeling as normal as I have ever felt.

Four months ago, after getting my unexpected third period and a wonky blood test, I was scheduled for a thyroid and antibodies blood test. My doctor thought I had hypothyroidism, and I thought that was ridiculous. I have no less than five chronic illnesses, and I did not gain a single one from my genetics. My mother had both hypothyroidism and autoimmune disease, my father and brother struggle with unruly immune systems as well. There was no way I had a thyroid problem or autoimmune disease. This would just become yet another mystery diagnosis I would have to painstakingly explain over and over again.

On the way too early morning in August, I woke up, hit the button on my Nespresso, and waited for my doctors front desk woman to figure out how to send a Zoom invite to the appointment that would tell me what I already knew: everything looked normal. They had no idea what was wrong with me, again. I spent an hour looking at a blank Zoom screen while my coffee went cold, contemplating what kind of workday I would be having. Finally, I was staring at Dr. Dewans grown-out beard and wayward bangs. He was staring down at some papers. How long have you had an autoimmune disease, Jennifer? He asked.

My heart stopped, my lips curled upward, Never!

Well, you do now, and it looks like a moderate case of hypothyroidism.

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Hyperthyroidism Vs Hypothyroidism: Which Is Worse

These are two different conditions and one isnt necessarily worse than the other. In the United States, hypothyroidism is more common than hyperthyroidism. Some experts think that hypothyroidism is more difficult to manage, but hyperthyroidism may cause more immediate problems. If you suspect you have either condition, its very important to see your healthcare provider right away.

What Are The Complications Of Hashimotos Disease

Many people with Hashimotos disease develop hypothyroidism. Untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to several health problems, including5

  • dry skin or dry, thinning hair
  • heavy or irregular menstrual periods or fertility problems
  • slowed heart rate

Hashimotos disease causes your thyroid to become damaged. Most people with Hashimotos disease develop hypothyroidism. Rarely, early in the course of the disease, thyroid damage may lead to the release of too much thyroid hormone into your blood, causing symptoms of hyperthyroidism.3

Your thyroid may get larger and cause the front of the neck to look swollen. The enlarged thyroid, called a goiter, may create a feeling of fullness in your throat, though it is usually not painful. After many years, or even decades, damage to the thyroid may cause the gland to shrink and the goiter to disappear.

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What Happens If I Have Hypothyroidism During Pregnancy

For pregnant women, there is a different thyroid stimulating hormone goal. If your TSH level is not at goal, your provider will likely offer you treatment with synthetic thyroid hormone to protect the safety of your pregnancy and your baby.

Untreated hypothyroidism during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth. Or it may cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure in late pregnancy . Untreated hypothyroidism can also affect your babys growth and brain development. Your providers will work with you to make sure your hypothyroidism is under control during your pregnancy.

Hypothyroidism during pregnancy is not common. But sometimes symptoms of hypothyroidism can be overlooked during pregnancy, with its fatigue and weight gain. Let your providers know right away if you notice any hypothyroidism symptoms, or feel like youre developing a goiter.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

In most cases, hypothyroidism can remain well controlled as long as you take your daily medication and get blood tests to adjust the dosage as instructed by your healthcare provider. Eating healthy and getting enough exercise can help you live a long, healthy life with the condition. Your healthcare providers can tell you what steps to take to feel better along the way.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/11/2020.

References

Who Gets Hashimotos Disease

Improve Digestion and Reverse Hypothyroid at the Same Time

Hashimotoâs disease affects more women than men. It can happen in teens and young women, but it most often appears between ages 40 and 60. Hashimotoâs disease often runs in families.

Your risk of getting Hashimotoâs disease is higher if you have another , such as rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, , pernicious anemia , or .

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Who Is Affected By Thyroid Disease

Thyroid disease can affect anyone men, women, infants, teenagers and the elderly. It can be present at birth and it can develop as you age .

Thyroid disease is very common, with an estimated 20 million people in the Unites States having some type of thyroid disorder. A woman is about five to eight times more likely to be diagnosed with a thyroid condition than a man.

You may be at a higher risk of developing a thyroid disease if you:

  • Have a family history of thyroid disease.
  • Have a medical condition .
  • Take a medication thats high in iodine .
  • Are older than 60, especially in women.
  • Have had treatment for a past thyroid condition or cancer .

Hashimotos Syndrome Hormone Replacement Therapy

At this time, there is no permanent cure for Hashimotos syndrome. However, hormone replacement therapy can help regulate hormone levels and help your biological functions and metabolism return to normal.

Most commonly, doctors will treat Hashimotos syndrome with hormone replacement therapy. This therapy typically includes the hormone replacement levothyroxine, which is identical to the hormone thyroxine which is normally produced by your thyroid gland.

Initially, your doctor may choose to retest your TSH level every few weeks after your hormone replacement therapy begins to ensure the right dosage. If you have severe hypothyroidism or a heart condition, your doctor may start you with a small dose of hormone replacement medication and will gradually increase the dose over time to give your heart time to adjust to your increased metabolism.

Since hormones regularly fluctuate, it will be important to routinely visit your doctor about every 12 months to check your TSH levels. This will ensure your dosage is still conducive to your current condition.

In addition, your doctor may also prescribe an anti-inflammatory like LDN. Anti-inflammatories like low-dose naltrexone help manage inflammation associated with Hashimotos syndrome.

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Key Laboratory And Imaging Tests

The hallmark of CH are low serum levels of circulating free thyroxine into the hypothyroid range associated with low/normal serum TSH concentrations. Some patients with CH with a predominantly hypothalamic defect may have high serum TSH levels, a potentially misleading diagnosis which may be confused with subclinical primary hypothyroidism. Although serum TSH levels may be normal or high, the TSH is biologically inactive and cannot stimulate the thyroidal TSH receptor. The measurement of serum free triiodothyronine levels is highly unreliable, as more than 30% of patients with CH have normal levels of this hormone.

Measurement of anti-thyroid autoantibodies may help in differentiating CH from primary hypothyroidism, as they will be undetectable in patients with CH.

The measurement of different parameters of peripheral thyroid hormone action, such as sex hormone-binding globulin, ferritin, bone markers, serum lipids and others, does not appear diagnostically useful, as they lack sufficient sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of hypothyroidism.

In every patient with CH, Computerized Tomography scan or Magnetic Resonance Imaging study of the hypothalamic-pituitary region should be carried out.

Dynamic testing should be considered. The TRH test may be useful in confirming the suspicion of CH, although distinguishing between tertiary and secondary hypothyroidism may be difficult.

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