Thyroid Evaluation

Valley Endocrine

Endocrinologists located in Fresno, CA

Gaining weight without changing your diet? Feeling fatigued all the time? Is your blood pressure rising? These are just a few of the symptoms related to thyroid disorders. A top-rated endocrinologist at Valley Endocrine in Fresno, California, Paul Norwood, MD, can identify if a thyroid problem is disrupting your life. The smallest malfunction can put your metabolism out of sync, but you can rely on Dr. Norwood’s skill to find the cause and design an effective treatment plan. Call today to schedule your thyroid evaluation or book your visit online.

Thyroid Evaluation Q & A

Valley Endocrine

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped organ that’s about two inches long and located near the base of your neck. It releases hormones that affect the way your body uses energy.

Your thyroid uses iodine from foods you eat to make two main hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), which must be balanced to do their jobs.

These hormones are responsible for regulating many of the vital functions your body relies on every moment of the day, including:

  • Breathing
  • Heart rate
  • Central and peripheral nervous system functions
  • Body temperature
  • Blood pressure

Hormones secreted by your thyroid gland also help regulate your digestive processes, body weight, cholesterol levels, and muscle strength. Because thyroid hormones travel to almost every cell, nearly everything in your body depends on this small gland’s ability to function.

What are the symptoms of a thyroid disorder?

Your symptoms depend on the type of malfunction occurring in your body. Too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) may cause:

  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Depression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Problems with concentration
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Frequent menstrual periods with heavy bleeding

Symptoms of too much thyroxine (hyperthyroidism) include:

  • Anxiety, irritability, or moodiness
  • Nervousness and hyperactivity
  • Excessive sweating or sensitivity to heat
  • Trembling and shaking in the hands
  • Hair loss

What’s involved in a thyroid evaluation?

A thyroid evaluation typically includes a physical exam and careful review of your medical history, current medications, and symptoms. Dr. Paul Norwood will also recommend that you undergo diagnostic blood tests that measure the thyroid hormones in your blood.

If your blood tests indicate hyperthyroidism, Dr. Norwood usually requests further studies to determine what’s causing your overactive thyroid. This may include a radioiodine uptake test, which measures how much hormone your thyroid produces by monitoring the amount of iodine it absorbs. No needles are required, and the scan is not painful.

Treatment for hypothyroidism typically involves the daily use of an oral thyroid hormone replacement. Treatment for an overactive thyroid varies and depends upon the cause and your symptoms. Dr. Norwood may, for instance, recommend anti-thyroid medication to decrease natural hormone production or medicine to treat your symptoms, such as beta blockers that slow a rapid heartbeat.

Call Valley Endocrine to schedule your appointment for a thyroid evaluation or book your visit online today.