As concierge physicians, we are very focused on preventative care. We believe primary care doctors should be there for their patients for more than just treating an illness. By sending each of our patients for their annual health screenings, including full blood work, we create a clear picture of where they are in their health journey. This not only allows us to see if there are anomalies now, but it also gives us a baseline to measure against in the future. There are so many chronic conditions that plague people with somewhat vague symptoms, but without regular screenings, never get diagnosed. Thyroid conditions are a primary example of that.
The American Thyroid Association estimates that 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, and 60% of them are unaware they have a condition. Most thyroid diseases are life-long conditions that can be managed with the proper medical attention and medications. Although it is small, the thyroid produces a hormone that influences every cell, tissue and organ in the body. The problem with the majority of people living with these diseases without knowing, is that this hormone-producing gland regulates your body’s metabolism and affects your energy level, and your heart rate. Going undiagnosed puts you at risk for some serious conditions such as osteoporosis, infertility, and cardiovascular disease.
There are a number of diseases and conditions of the thyroid. These include hypothyroidism, where the gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, and hyperthyroidism, in which is when the gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism symptoms include extreme fatigue, depression, forgetfulness and weight gain. Women are five times more likely than men to suffer from hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism symptoms include nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, vision problems, unexplained weight loss, irritability, muscle weakness. People may also get the autoimmune diseases like Graves’ disease, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer. Many of the symptoms associated with thyroid diseases are mistaken for other conditions and often misidentified as bad lifestyle habits, or just plain aging, according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
Research also shows that there is a strong genetic link between thyroid disease and other autoimmune diseases, including types of diabetes, arthritis and anemia. Because thyroid hormones affect your moods, people can become depressed and even suicidal due to an undiagnosed thyroid condition.
That’s why we say, if you have any inkling that it might be off, get it checked out. We will send you for a blood test to verify your thyroid gland’s condition, and request a full thyroid panel. We feel all of the components of the panel need checking since the TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) test can come back normal even if there are other components that are “off.”
Do the best thing you can do for your health and make an appointment to learn more about our concierge medical services and your thyroid health today! Your health and well-being are our biggest priority! Call (239) 500-6363 for an appointment.