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How do you treat male thyroid problems?

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Quick Answer

Thyroid problems affecting both men and women are treated by endocrinologists. When hypothyroidism occurs, the most common course of action is thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Treatment for hyperthyroidism includes thyroid ablation, thyroidectomy and thyroid-suppressing drugs, according to WebMD.

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Determining thyroid problems includes blood tests measuring the levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in the blood, as well as triiodothyronine and thyroxine. A TSH measurement between 0.4 and 4 milli-international units per liter is considered normal. If TSH is lower, it signals hyperthyroidism, while high TSH values can indicate hypothyroidism, according to MedlinePlus.

Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, rapid heartbeat, hand tremors and nervousness. Additionally, the thyroid gland may appear enlarged and show as swelling at the base of the neck. One complication of hyperthyroidism is Graves' opthamalopathy, a condition in which the patient's eyes protrude from his eye sockets. Graves' disease, Plummer's disease, thyroiditis and toxic adenoma are all known causes of hyperthyroidism. Radioactive iodine taken orally, anti-thyroid medications, beta blockers and thyroid removal are treatments for hyperthyroidism, reports the Mayo Clinic.

The immune system attacking the thyroid, viral infections, Sheehan's syndrome and certain medications can cause hypothyroidism. Symptoms include weight gain, constipation, fatigue, sensitivity to cold and muscle pain. If hypothyroidism goes untreated, the patient may suffer from loss of smell and taste, puffy hands and extremities, slow speech, and thinning of the eyebrows. Thyroid replacement hormones treat hypothyroidism. Most commonly, doctors prescribe levothyroxine to hypothyroid patients, states MedlinePlus.

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