Thyroid Disorders Specialist

Robert J. Wielenga, M.D. -  - Geriatric Physician

Wielenga Medical Group

Robert J. Wielenga, M.D.

Geriatric Physician & Family Practice Physician located in Downey, CA

Whether it’s unexplained weight fluctuations or the loss of hair that has you concerned, thyroid disorders are serious conditions that can lead to a wide range of health and wellness problems. At Wielenga Medical, family practitioner and geriatric specialist Dr. Robert Wielenga will find the root cause of your thyroid condition, whether it’s a vitamin deficiency or a hormone imbalance. If you live near Downey, California, and are looking for a doctor who prevents, diagnoses, or treats thyroid disorders, contact Dr. Wielenga. Call the office today to schedule your appointment.

Thyroid Disorders Q & A

by Robert J. Wielenga, M.D.

What does your thyroid do?

Your thyroid gland is located in the front of your throat and is responsible for producing and storing certain hormones, including thyroxine. Hormones made by your thyroid impact your entire body and are responsible for regulating your metabolism, which affects weight gain and loss as well as your energy levels.

What are the symptoms of thyroid disorders?

When you’re suffering from a thyroid disorder, you may experience a range of symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Swelling in your neck
  • Racing pulse
  • Hair loss
  • Trouble with temperature regulation
  • Dry skin
  • Brittle nails
  • Irregular menstrual cycles

Are there different types of thyroid disorders?

There are a few different types of thyroid disorders. The most common include:

  • Hypothyroidism: When your thyroid produces too little hormones, you have hypothyroidism. This condition slows the body’s metabolism, causing most of the body’s systems to slow down.
  • Hyperthyroidism: You’re diagnosed with hyperthyroidism when your thyroid is overactive and produces excessive hormones. This leads to an overactive metabolism and impacts organ and system functioning.

How are thyroid disorders diagnosed?

If you think you may have a thyroid disorder, Dr. Wielenga orders a blood test to determine the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in your body. This hormone is produced by your pituitary gland and is responsible for regulating the amount of hormones your thyroid produces.

If your TSH is high, you may be diagnosed with hypothyroidism. A low level of TSH may indicate hyperthyroidism.

In some cases, Dr. Wielenga may also recommend medical imaging of your thyroid to determine whether it’s enlarged or has any nodules that are causing complications.

Can thyroid disorders be treated?

If you have hypothyroidism, Dr. Wielenga may prescribe oral thyroid medication to replace your body’s depleted reserve. Most patients notice symptom improvement within a few weeks. After being on the medication, you may experience:

  • Weight loss
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Increased energy

For hyperthyroidism, Dr. Wielenga may use an antithyroid medication to decrease your thyroid’s hormone production. He may also prescribe you other medications to manage your symptoms.

If your thyroid doesn’t respond to antithyroid medication, Dr. Wielenga may recommend more aggressive treatments, such as the destruction of your thyroid through radioactive iodine or removal via surgery. Once the thyroid quits functioning or is removed, replacement thyroid hormones must be taken.

If you think you have a thyroid disease, contact Dr. Wielenga. Call to schedule your appointment today.

*Individual results may vary