CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services Reminds Residents of Glenn Dale: January is Thyroid Awareness Month and We Can Help

January 12, 2015

January is Thyroid Awareness Month, and here at Cam Physical Therapy and Wellness Services LLC, we’d like to inform you of the dangers of thyroid disease and explain how we can help those with thyroid issues through the recovery process.

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck, and its main function is to produce hormones that regulate your body’s metabolism. Though relatively small, the thyroid influences the function of many of the most important organs in the body, including the heart, brain, kidneys, liver and skin.

When the thyroid is not working properly, it can cause the body’s system to speed up (hyperthyroidism) or slow down (hypothyroidism), each of which can lead to its own unique symptoms. Hyperthyroidism usually causes rapid weight loss, high blood pressure, anxiety or insomnia, while hypothyroidism tends to cause a weak, slow heart beat, muscular weakness, constant fatigue, weight gain, depression, slowed mental processes or poor memory.

Other thyroid problems include goiter, which is a visibly enlarged thyroid gland that could indicate another condition, and thyroid cancer, which is the fifth most common cancer in women. On the whole, thyroid disease affects approximately 200 million people worldwide and can cause serious complications if left untreated.

Examining your neck can sometimes help locate lumps or enlargements that may point to a thyroid condition. This can be done by using a mirror to focus on the lower middle area of your neck, tipping your head back, and swallowing a drink of water. Watch your neck while you swallow and look for any bulges or protrusions (aside from your Adam’s apple), and if you notice anything after a few tries, you should see a doctor. A thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) blood test is the best way to determine if the thyroid is functioning normally and can be used for confirmation.

If a thyroid condition is detected, treatment will vary depending on its type and severity, but will usually include an intervention that affects hormone levels. Physical therapy may also be recommended, especially for patients with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, and CAM can help with this process.

Though symptoms for the two conditions differ, patients tend to have a lower tolerance and ability to perform physical activities. Physical therapy can help by increasing exercise tolerance and capacity, as well as muscle strength, in patients with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, which can lead to other benefits too.

Residents of Glenn Dale, Bowie, Hyattsville and Laurel, MD should now be aware of the dangers of thyroid disease and that CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services LLC can help with the recovery process. Click here for more information on thyroid conditions or call us at 301-853-0093 to schedule an appointment.

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