Preventive and Diagnostic Medical Center

Arun Sehgal, MD

Internal Medicine located in Ramsey, NJ

If you're always tired, cold, and struggle to manage your weight, you may have hypothyroidism. Arun Sehgal, MD, a board-certified internist at Preventive and Diagnostic Medical Center in Ramsey, New Jersey, offers expert diagnosis and customized treatments to restore your hormonal balance and your health. Call or schedule a consultation online today.

Hypothyroidism Q & A

What is hypothyroidism?

Your thyroid - a small butterfly-shaped gland that rests at the front of your neck, just below your Adam's apple - regulates your metabolism and many of your other critical body functions. If your thyroid is underactive, it doesn't produce enough thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). 

Hypothyroidism is widespread, affecting around 10 million Americans, including 10% of women. It causes a variety of disruptive symptoms and can severely interfere with your health and well-being.

What are the signs of hypothyroidism?

Your thyroid controls your metabolism as well as several other critical body functions. As a result, the symptoms of hypothyroidism vary. Some of the common signs of an underactive thyroid include:

  • Weight gain or trouble losing weight
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Dry hair
  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin
  • Sensitive to cold temperatures
  • Muscle aches and cramps
  • Constipation
  • Mood problems such as depression and irritability
  • Memory trouble
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles
  • Low libido

If you have a hypoactive thyroid, you may experience some or all of these symptoms. The severity varies depending on the number of thyroid hormones your body produces.

What causes hypothyroidism?

The two most common causes of an underactive thyroid are Hashimoto's thyroiditis and medical treatments that remove or destroy part of your thyroid. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in your thyroid. The inflammation eventually damages or destroys the hormone-producing cells. 

You may need to have surgery on your thyroid to remove a nodule or a cancerous tumor. Additionally, if you have a hyperactive thyroid or a goiter, a radioactive iodine treatment kills off a portion of the thyroid to reduce hormone production or prevent the goiter from getting bigger.

How is hypothyroidism treated?

Unfortunately, there's no cure for hypothyroidism. However, Dr. Sehgal offers customized treatments at Preventive and Diagnostic Medical Center, including prescriptions for synthetic thyroid hormones and lifestyle modifications to improve your overall health. 

Prescription thyroid hormones make up for the deficit in what your body can produce and help to regulate your metabolism and other functions. Dr. Sehgal may also recommend diet modifications and suggest that you aim for around 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.

For expert diagnosis and management of hypothyroidism, call Preventive and Diagnostic Medical Center or make an appointment online today.