Having abnormal thyroid levels is not a good thing, as the thyroid is a very important gland in the human body. It is the hormone released from the thyroid that helps to regulate your metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate, as well as your body weight and blood pressure.
When someone has an abnormal thyroid level, they will end up with what is known as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. With hyperthyroidism the gland is releasing too much hormone and with hypothyroidism the gland is releasing to little hormone. There are a number of conditions that can cause abnormal thyroid levels, but whatever the underlying condition is, there will be some distinct symptoms that will indicate that you are having problems with your thyroid gland.
With abnormal thyroid levels that indicate hyperthyroidism you may experience symptoms such as intolerance of heat, heart palpitations, problems with sleeping, as well as unexplained weight loss. With high thyroid levels you may also experience shaking hands, nervousness, and your skin will feel warm to touch. Hyperthyroidism may indicate an autoimmune problem.
One of the most common underlying problems that will cause high thyroid levels is known as Grave’s Disease; this is a condition in which antibodies will attack the thyroid gland. This is a dangerous condition, and will actually cause the eyes to be pushed forward from the eye sockets due to pressure.
Some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism include sleeping more than normal, feeling weak and drained of energy, as well as general fatigue. Those who suffer from low thyroid levels may also have dry, brittle hair that is thinning. People with hypothyroidism will have a low tolerance for cold temperatures, and women may have problems with their menstrual cycles, as well as a low sex drive. One of the most obvious symptoms of low thyroid levels is sudden weight gain, without any success in losing that weight, even with exercise and diet.
The cause of hypothyroidism is most commonly from the underlying condition known as Hashimoto's Disease; with this disease the antibodies will attack the thyroid gland to the point where it will no longer release the hormones that your body needs to function correctly. This condition may also be the result of the treatment that is given for hyperthyroidism, which is radioactive iodine.
To treat abnormal thyroid levels it is necessary to treat the underlying cause of the condition. Treating low levels of thyroid hormone is a little easier than treating high levels of the hormone. When a low level of thyroid hormone is present, a person can simply take medication that replaces the hormone that is missing in the body. When thyroid levels are too high, it can be a little more difficult to treat. One method of treating this is to take anti thyroid medication, which may help resolve the problem. If Grave’s Disease is what is causing the abnormal thyroid levels, the thyroid may need to be treated with radioactive iodine, which will cause low thyroid levels and the need for additional treatment.
If you have suffered from any of the symptoms that indicate an abnormal thyroid level, you should visit your doctor to be tested. Testing for this is fairly easy and only requires that your doctor perform some blood tests. If your tests come back with abnormal thyroid levels, your doctor will likely have to perform more tests. He or she may run more blood tests to check for high levels of antibodies, or they may want an MRI of the thyroid to ensure that there is nothing going on with the thyroid, such as cancer.