The thyroid is a central gland of the endocrine system. It produces hormones that control your metabolism, which is how your body breaks down and processes the energy you get from food.
Thyroid hormones also control how quickly your organs operate and how much oxygen they use. A variety of thyroid diseases can result in abnormal thyroid hormone levels.
Managing thyroid disease is often complicated, since the disease can affect many different organs and functions. The endocrine team at MedStar Washington Hospital Center includes national and international leaders in the treatment of thyroid disease.
We bring together experts in all areas critical to your needs. As part of this multidisciplinary approach, we all use the same computer system, known as an Electronic Health Record (EHR). This system promotes easy communication and access to the information we need to coordinate your care, monitor your condition and keep you on the right track.
Your team will meet regularly and work with you and your family to make sure you receive the most advanced therapies available. Most importantly, we deliver your care and treatment with compassion and understanding.
Learn more about our approach to:
Hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease treatment
After careful evaluation, our team will develop a treatment plan based on the cause and severity of your symptoms. Options for treatment often include:
- Long-term anti-thyroid medication
- Surgery to remove the thyroid
- Radioactive iodine, which stops the thyroid from producing hormones
Following surgery or radioactive iodine treatment, our team will prescribe thyroid hormone replacement pills, as necessary.
Medication, radiation and surgery also help those suffering from ophthalmopathy because of Graves’ disease. Those treated with radioactive iodine, however, can have further eye problems. In some cases, we often recommend steroid medications to reduce eye irritation and swelling.
The goal in treating hypothyroidism is to replace the thyroid hormone you lack. Generally, we do this by prescribing medications that substitute the hormones. As you begin taking the medication, we continue to check your hormone levels every two to three months. After that, we will monitor your condition about once or twice a year.
It is important to stay in touch with your team, especially if you begin to experience any symptoms of hyperthyroidism, which can include:
- Severe weight loss
- Heart palpitations
Your team of doctors will work with you to develop a treatment plan that will be most effective for you, whether you have postpartum (occurring after pregnancy), silent or subacute thyroiditis.