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Thyroid Disorders & Obesity

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Thyroid Disorders & Obesity
Thyroid Disorders & Obesity

Past studies have found that thyroid disorders can lead to obesity, and a recent study published in the December 2013 issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that obesity itself may cause thyroid dysfunction in some cases.

Thyroid disorders involve the over- or under-function of the thyroid gland. Located in the front of the neck below the Adam’s apple, the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland is an essential organ for producing thyroid hormones, which maintain the body’s metabolism. Too little hormone slows the metabolism and often causes weight gain. Dr. Shillingford’s weight loss surgery practice sees patients in the Miami area as well as the Orlando, Naples, Daytona Beach, and the Tampa Bay who have struggled with obesity over a majority of their adult life. This patient contact with the South Florida community has allowed him to guide patients with a suspected thyroid disorder to understand and gain control of their condition.

One of the most common thyroid disorder among the morbidly obese is Hypothyroidism. This occurs when the thyroid gland produces an insufficient amount of thyroid hormone. It is estimated that 3% to 5% of the adult population suffers from an under active thyroid and women are more susceptible than in men. Since the thyroid gland is controlled by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, disorders of these tissues can also contribute to development of the disorder. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include: fatigue, poor concentration, constipation, dry skin, fluid retention, much and join aches, and prolonged or excessive menstrual bleeding in women. Hypothyroidism is sometimes caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation of the thyroid gland.

In addition to thorough medical history and physical exam, specialized tests are used to diagnose thyroid disorders. Blood tests are used to determine the levels of thyroid hormones (T4 and T3) and TSH (Thyroid Stimulating hormone) . Blood tests to identify antibodies against thyroid tissue may also be ordered by your doctor, such as titers of anti-thyroglobulin, anti-thyroperoxidase, or TSH receptor stimulating antibodies. Treatment for hypothyroidism generally involves synthetic thyroid hormone medication. In most cases, thyroid disorders can be well managed with medical treatment and are not life threatening, however, early diagnosis and treatment is key in preventing complications.

- Dr. Kahlil Shillingford is a South Florida board certified surgeon who specializes in bariatric or weight loss surgery including the Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve), Gastric Bypass, and Lap-Band procedures. His patients come from across the state of Florida including Tampa Bay, Naples, Orlando, Miami, Daytona Beach . To learn more about Dr. Shillingford’s integrative weight loss surgeries and all-inclusive fees please call his office in Boca Raton, Florida at (561) 483-8840.