MIDDLEBURG, HEIGHTS, Ohio - Every cell, tissue, and organ in the body is impacted by the thyroid, so its health is critical to one's overall well-being. But what exactly does this often-ignored gland do, and why does it need to stay in peak operating condition?
January is National Thyroid Awareness Month. It's estimated that 30 million Americans may have an unrecognized or under-treated thyroid condition contributing to a long list of illnesses and disease.
"The thyroid is integral to the body's overall function. So if the gland isn't working very well, then chances are you aren't functioning very well either," said Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, D.O. and founder of Tenpenny Integrative Medical Center (TIMC) in Middleburg Heights.
"January is a good time for health resolutions. It's crucial to realize how important it is to have optimized thyroid function. An extensive evaluation of thyroid health can resolve a long list of health disorders all year long. "
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland found immediately below the Adam's apple on the front of the neck. It is brownish-red in color and, when normal in size, it can't be felt.
The thyroid functions within a narrow normal range. When dysfunctional, problems include:
- Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid. Common symptoms include weight gain, constipation, unclear thinking, depression, body pain, and slow reflexes.
Decreased thyroid function can lead to elevated cholesterol levels, heart disease, infertility, and muscle weakness.
- Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid. Those diagnosed with this suffer from increased blood pressure and heart rate, vision problems, insomnia, rapid weight loss, and anxiety.
- Goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid gland. Patients can feel tenderness, tightness, or swelling in the neck, along with hoarseness, coughing, and difficulty swallowing.
- Thyroid Cancer, which includes possible symptoms such as a lump in the throat/neck, swelling of the lymph nodes, and changes in voice quality.
"Thyroid testing involves a simple blood test," Tenpenny said. "Our assessment includes overlooked parameters such as iodine level, selenium level, thyroid antibodies and we also frequently test adrenal function. This way, we can choose a course of action that can optimize the entire endocrine cascade. "
TIMC is a multi-disciplinary health center that partners with each patient to deliver personalized, holistic medical care, helping them achieve optimal health.
The Center offers a wide variety of integrated health services that make people well without pharmaceutical drugs.
Along with thyroid expertise, the board-certified medical doctors at TIMC focus on bioidentical hormones and breast health; asthma, allergies, ADD/ADHD, and eczema in children. The Clinic also offers a gluten-free, 5-week detoxification program.
For more information on thyroid health, contact the Tenpenny Integrative Medical Center at 440-239-3438, or visit their website, www TenpennyIMC.com. For more information on the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, visit www.aace.com.