Thyroid - Could yours be causing you problems?

The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, just in front of the windpipe. Although it is quite a small gland it has an important function in your body and if it stops working properly it can cause problems throughout your body.

The function of the thyroid gland

One of its main functions is to produce hormones that help regulate the body’s metabolism, this is the process that turns food into energy. The hormones the Thyroid produces are called triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).

Many of the body’s functions slow down when the thyroid does not produce enough of these hormones, this is called hypothyroidism. If the thyroid produces too much of T3 or T4 then the body’s functions speed up.

Who is affected by Thyroid problems

Thyroid disorders are very common and tend to mostly affect women, although anybody – men, teenagers, children, and babies, too – can have problems with their thyroid. About one in 20 people has some kind of thyroid disorder, which may be temporary or permanent.

How would I know if I have a problem with my thyroid?

There are two ways in which you can have problems with you thyroid. It can  be overactive (hyperthyroid) or underactive (hypothyroid).

If your thyroid is overactive then too much hormone is produced and the systems in your body can speed up. Which can cause the following symptoms.

  • nervousness, anxiety and irritability
  • mood swings
  • difficulty sleeping
  • persistent tiredness and weakness
  • sensitivity to heat
  • swelling in your neck from an enlarged thyroid gland
  • an irregular and/or unusually fast heart rate
  • twitching or trembling
  • weight loss

If your thyroid is underactive then the systems in your body tend to slow down which causes the following symptoms:

  • tiredness
  • weight gain
  • depression
  • being sensitive to the cold
  • dry skin and hair
  • muscle aches

What causes thyroid problems?

There are several reasons why your thyroid can become overactive.

These include:

  • Graves’ disease – an autoimmune condition where the immune system produces antibodies that cause the thyroid to produce too much thyroid hormone.
  • Lumps / nodules on the thyroid which affect how the thyroid works.
  • Some medicines.

The main cause of an underactive thyroid is Hashimoto’s disease. This is an autoimmune disorder where your immune system attacks the thyroid.


Who will my consultation be with?

Your appointment will be with Dr James Cave.

Dr Cave is an experienced and respected GP with many years of working with patients with hyper and hypo thyroid problems.

What appointment do I book?

Because the symptoms of thyroid problems can be the same as for many other conditions we test for this under our fatigue appointment.

You can choose to have:

A consultation only.

A consultation and a blood test

A consultation, a blood test and then a follow up appointment.

All the details of the appointments are available on our fatigue appointment page.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

If you are not sure which is the best appointment then call us on 01635 791 301 and we can help you make the right decision for you.

The following tests are included:

  • Thyroid panel (FT3, FT4,TSH)
  • Follicle stimulating hormone
  • Luteinizing hormone
  • Sex hormone binding globulin
  • Oestradiol
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone
  • Prolactin

Dr Cave can prescribe medication in a consultation if it is clinically indicated. Dr Cave will discuss this with you during your consultation. There will be a private prescription charged at £40. Private GP prescriptions can be used at any dispensing pharmacy.

Yes. Our thyroid panel includes your levels of Free T3 and Free T4 as well as your TSH levels.

Private prescriptions are charged at £40 per prescription.. Private GP prescriptions can be used at any dispensing pharmacy.


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