Joseph W Mathews, MD, FACP, FACE, ECNU, CCD
Endocrinology, Diabetes and Thyroid Specialist located in Charleston, SC and Summerville, SC
Your thyroid is a small gland, but it plays a big role in a number of your body’s functions. If Hashimoto’s disease is affecting your thyroid’s ability to work the way it should, Joseph Mathews, MD, FACP, FACE, ECNU, CCD, and the team at Palmetto Endocrinology are available to help. At their office in Summerville, South Carolina, they help patients with Hashimoto’s disease lead healthy, balanced lives. To learn more about the thyroid care they offer, call the office or request your appointment online today.
Hashimoto's Disease Q & A
What is Hashimoto’s disease?
Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disease that’s usually passed down hereditarily and is most common in middle-aged women. That said, it can affect anyone.
If you have Hashimoto’s disease, your immune system mistakenly attacks your thyroid. Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck. It’s responsible for creating two hormones — triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) — that control your metabolism. That means problems with your thyroid can affect your body’s ability to convert food to energy, as well as your heart rate, body temperature, and more.
Hashimoto’s disease causes inflammation in your thyroid that can lead to hypothyroidism or underproduction of T3 and T4. As a result, it can cause symptoms like:
- Weight gain
- Brittle hair and nails
- Muscle and joint pain
- Memory problems
- Dry skin
- Cold sensitivity
- Extended menstrual cycles
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, don’t hesitate to come to Palmetto Endocrinology so the team can diagnose your condition and start you with treatment.
How is Hashimoto’s disease diagnosed?
Palmetto Endocrinology is one of the only practices in the area with an Endocrine Certification in Neck Ultrasound (ECNU). They can use an ultrasound to determine the presence of Hashimoto’s disease in addition to using more traditional diagnostic tools like a hormone test or antibody test. This allows them to give you an accurate diagnosis, so you get the most effective treatment possible.
How is Hashimoto’s disease treated?
The key to managing your Hashimoto’s disease and eliminating your symptoms is balancing your hormone levels. Your Palmetto Endocrinology provider can start you on synthetic hormones, replacing the T3 and T4 that your body isn’t producing naturally. They work with you to find the right balance.
This process usually takes time. You need sufficient hormones to eliminate your symptoms, but you don’t want to take excess amounts, as this can increase your risk for bone loss. Fortunately, Palmetto Endocrinology is also a Certified Clinical Densitometrist (CCD®) practice, so they can monitor your bone density to ensure your synthetic hormones don’t pose any long-term risk to your bone health.
For expert diagnosis and dedicated care to help you manage your Hashimoto’s disease, call Palmetto Endocrinology or schedule an appointment online today.