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Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism

The thyroid gland plays a central role in our metabolism. The thyroid hormones t hyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3) and calcitonin are formed in this small organ, which is located beneath the larynx and directly in front of and next to the trachea. The hormone thyrotropin (TSH), which is formed in the pituitary gland, controls the release of the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine. The hormones T3 and T4 influence the oxygen requirements of the body’s cells, the energy metabolism, the cardiovascular system, digestion and the mental and physical development of our bodies. If the thyroid gland, with its important tasks, succumbs to a disease, the ramifications are accordingly diverse.

Hypothyroidism, if too few T3 and T4 hormones are produced

If not enough T3 and T4 hormones are produced, endocrinologists call this hypothyroidism. As a consequence of this, the metabolism slows down. People suffering from hypothyroidism quickly feel the cold and become weary and depressed. This can result in a poor memory and hair loss can occur. Constipation weight gain oedema formation and erectile dysfunction can additionally arise.
Hypothyroidism can also lead to the formation of a goitre (struma). Laboratory analysis and an ultrasound examination of the thyroid gland will quickly provide clarity regarding the thyroid dysfunction, which can be easily treated if detected in good time.

Hyperthyroidism when too many thyroid hormones are produced

The production and release of too many thyroid hormones can result, for example, in weight loss, hyperactivity, nervousness, trembling inside and fast cardiac activity, insomnia, excessive sweating and an accelerated pulse as well as diarrhoea and severe osteoporosis. Hyperthyroidism can also lead to an enlarged thyroid gland, commonly referred to as a goitre (struma). The endocrinologist can examine the thyroid gland itself using ultrasound.

Autoimmune diseases of the thyroid gland, Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease

The thyroid disease called Graves’ disease is triggered by the formation of autoantibodies, leading to hyperthyroidism (hyperthyreosis). Symptoms of this hyperfunction include weight loss, trembling inside, shaking and sweating. In Graves’ disease, the body’s own defence system mistakenly attacks the body tissue. This primarily affects the thyroid gland, but also the eyes. One characteristic of this disease is the formation of antibodies that mainly attack the cells of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland responds to this attack with overactivity. However, other cells (eye muscles) can also be affected. Other characteristics of Graves’ disease can include swellings on the shins and eye changes (endocrine ophthalmopathy).

Autoimmune inflammation of the thyroid gland (thyroiditis), Hashimoto’s disease

In cases of chronic autoimmune inflammation of the thyroid gland (thyroiditis), or Hashimoto’s disease, hyperthyroidism can initially occur in the first stage of the disease. However the disease is characterised by hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s disease is a persistent inflammation of the thyroid gland. This autoimmune disease also causes the body’s defence system to attack the thyroid gland tissue, damaging it. However, this results in hypofunction of the thyroid gland. The disease predominantly affects females aged between 30 and 50 and often occurs during the menopause. At the onset of the disease, the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease are similar to those of hyperthyroidism. However, hypofunction then occurs, accompanied by complaints such as wearines, tiredness, weight gain. The disease can clear up completely.

Precautionary check-ups are advisable

Diseases of the thyroid gland can also occur due to genetic reasons. If cases of thyroid dysfunction occur frequently within a family, endocrinologist Prof. Christian Wüster (Mainz) believes that precautionary check-ups are a good idea.

Osteoporosis – focal point of endocrinologist Prof. Christian Wüster’s practice

The term bone loss indicates a particular characteristic of osteoporosis. The slow and painless loss of bone substance means that osteoporosis usually progresses without being noticed. Since the support and stability of the bones disappear slowly and unnoticed, the disease is often underestimated and ignored. By the time a bone fracture occurs, the disease is often fairly advanced. Bone density measurements early on can help to detect and treat osteoporosis at an early stage.

Broad range of services: endocrinology practice

Learn more about the team and its medical-therapeutic network and find out more about the focus areas of our work, specific diseases and our range of services for patients with metabolic diseases or hormonal equilibrium disorders.
We look forward to your visit!
Prof. Christian Wüster

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Veröffentlichung Endokrinologie und Osteologie in der Hausarztpraxis Endokrinologie und Osteologie in der Hausarztpraxis
Im renommierten Fachverlag Springer ist das neue Buch von Prof. Dr. Dr. Wüster erschienen. Unter dem Titel „Endokrinologie und Osteologie in der Hausarztpraxis, Leitfaden für die tägliche Patienten-Versorgung“ finden Interessierte praxisnahe Hinweise zur hausärztlichen Patientenversorgung in der Endokrinologie und Osteologie. Auch wenn das Buch an erster Stelle die Hausarztpraxen adressiert, so richtet es sich darüber hinaus auch an bestimmte Fachärzte (Internisten, Gynäkologen, Urologen, Orthopäden, Rheumatologen, Pädiater) sowie an Medizinstudenten, erfahrene MFA und Physiotherapeuten.
Direkt hier vorbestellen!