A fully functional thyroid and/or parathyroid are paramount for your health. These glands regulate the way your body uses energy and the amount of calcium present in your blood, so if they are malfunctioning, it could cause any one of several health conditions.
At Longstreet Clinic, our physicians understand every aspect of the thyroid and parathyroid, and they also understand how best to treat any condition associated with these glands. Our care providers are always ready to work with you to determine the best course of treatment should you experience a problem associated with either gland.
What is the thyroid and parathyroid?
Both the thyroid and parathyroid glands are part of the endocrine system, which regulates hormones and many body functions.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the trachea. It creates hormones that regulate the use of energy in the body.
The parathyroid, meanwhile, consists of four tiny glands (each about the size of a grain of rice) that are located behind the thyroid. These produce a hormone that regulates the amount of calcium in the blood.
Thyroid and parathyroid health concerns
An estimated 27 million Americans are affected by an overactive (hyper) or underactive (hypo) thyroid, which can lead to a litany of symptoms. Yet there are also other conditions associated with the thyroid and parathyroid, including nodules and hyperparathyroidism and hypoparathyroidism.
Symptoms of this most commonly include:
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Muscle weakness
Symptoms of this condition most commonly include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Unplanned weight loss
- Changes in menstrual patterns for women
There are other concerns regarding the thyroid, including nodules – growths on the thyroid itself. Millions of Americans have thyroid nodules, and many of these need to be carefully monitored by medical professionals, for while the nodules are often benign, they do carry a risk of developing into thyroid cancer.
Overactivity of one or more of the parathyroid glands – a common condition called hyperparathyroidism – can result in hypercalcemia which leads to osteoporosis and kidney stones along with more subtle symptoms.
This condition is much rarer and leads to low levels of calcium and high levels of phosphorus and must be monitored closely.
Who is at risk?
Thyroid and parathyroid issues can affect anyone, though they most frequently affect women over age 60. A family history also raises your risk of either disorder.
Surgical and treatment options for thyroid problems
Treatment options for your thyroid and parathyroid symptoms depend on your diagnosis and range from hormone replacement and medications to radioactive iodide and surgery. Initial diagnosis usually occurs through monitoring blood test results in combination with a physical exam and discussion of symptoms you may be having.
At Longstreet Clinic we will sit down with you to determine the best treatment options, including through fine needle aspiration biopsies in the comfortable setting of our own offices.
We work hand-in-hand with our patients, as well as with expert endocrinologists, to ensure the absolute best treatment options are delivered in the most cost-effective setting possible.
For those patients requiring surgery, many thyroid and parathyroid procedures can be performed in an outpatient setting at the Gainesville Surgery Center, a lower cost option that provides leading-edge technology, attentive medical care and comfort. For patients in need of inpatient procedures, our surgeons have privileges at the award-winning Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
If you suspect you have a problem with your thyroid or parathyroid glands, contact us today for an evaluation.
Contact us today
If you think you are suffering from thyroid or parathyroid concerns, do not wait to deal with them. Longstreet Clinic providers are ready to help.