What Men Should Know About Thyroid Disease
While it is often thought that thyroid disease only affects women, 20 percent of cases are found in men. Here's what you should know.
Symptoms in Men
Although men with thyroid disease may experience many of the same symptoms that affect women who have the disease, there are some symptoms that are specific to men. Often these symptoms may be overlooked because they are not always associated with thyroid dysfunction. These symptoms may include:
- Hair loss
- Low sex drive
- Low sperm count
- Delayed ejaculation
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of muscle mass
- Lowered testosterone levels
- Gynecomastia (male breast enlargement)
Causes of Dysfunction
There are two types of thyroid dysfunction: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when you have an underactive thyroid. Hyperthyroidism is when your thyroid is overactive.
When your thyroid is underactive, your treatment will include takingthyroid hormone replacement medication for the rest of your life to regulate your hormone levels.
When you have an overactive thyroid, treatment often begins with antithyroid medication that limits thyroid function. This can be temporary or lifelong, depending on how your body adjusts to the medication.
Radiation therapy and having thyroidectomy surgery are also common treatment options. Eventually, these treatments will result in hypothyroidism.
When to Get Tested
If you notice any of the above symptoms, in tandem with the classic symptoms either of thyroid dysfunction, as mentioned above, you should speak with your primary care doctor about being tested. If you are generally healthy and are aged 60 or older, it is still a good idea to discuss testing with your doctor if it is deemed you are at risk of developing a thyroid condition.
Primary and Specialty Care in Ohio
At Southwest General Medical Group, Inc., our team of health care professionals includes both primary care and specialty care physicians who are working to raise the bar for excellence in health care services for our community. To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, visit our website.