It might be your thyroid
You’ve heard that before. Your best friend has some experience with thyroid issues and suggested over dinner that you might be dealing with a similar issue.
Thyroid conditions aren’t that unusual as it so happens. As a matter of fact, some estimates indicate that somewhere around 200 million individuals worldwide struggle with thyroid issues.
So… maybe it is your thyroid!
Get to know your thyroid
Knowing what your thyroid does and how it usually works is important in order to fully comprehend what causes it to have issues.
In your neck, just beneath your larynx, sits a butterfly shaped gland called the thyroid. Your thyroid isn’t something you can see or feel and when it’s healthy you won’t even detect it.
Your thyroid breaks down iodine from your food, creating necessary hormones that help your body function and control your metabolism. That makes your thyroid rather essential, even if you don’t really notice it’s there.
There are two basic ways that your thyroid can cause issues. You will start to observe symptoms if your thyroid is too active or not active enough.
A thyroid that’s overly active creates a condition called hyperthyroidism. Too many hormones that help control your metabolism are created when this condition happens. The rhythm of your body speeds up. And you may think that this will make you like a teenager again, but an unnaturally fast metabolism can create lots of problems including heart palpitations, increased sweating, irritability, sudden weight loss, and more. Your thyroid can even become enlarged.
Hyperthyroidism can be caused by a wide variety of problems, from Graves’ Disease to thyroiditis. In some cases, it’s genetic or hereditary. It more often tends to develop in women or individuals who suffer from chronic illnesses.
Treatment for hyperactive thyroid typically includes:
- Radioactive iodine treatment
You probably won’t begin feeling better with these treatments for a couple of months.
A lethargic thyroid
An underactive thyroid, on the other hand, is called hypothyroidism. This means a slower metabolism. Some of the symptoms are weight gain (or weight stubbornly hanging around no matter how much you exercise you do or how healthily you eat), brittle nails, loss of hair, or sluggishness. You may also just be generally more tired and fatigued.
Here are the causes of hypothyroidism:
- Congenital disease
- Pituitary disorders
- Iodine deficiency
Synthetic hormones are normally included in these treatments. You will normally start feeling better after you start using these hormones.
How can you tell which of these two conditions you’re dealing with?
Thyroid conditions can be difficult to diagnose. They can often pass themselves off as other conditions. So if you had a thyroid problem, how could you tell? If you detect any of these 6 symptoms it’s time to make an appointment with us.
- Sleep issues: If hyperthyroidism is giving you too much energy to lay still, it can cause you to lose sleep. You may have a difficult time mustering up enough energy to get out of bed if you have hypothyroidism. If you’re experiencing either of these, it could be due to thyroid issues.
- Heart rate changes: Most individuals think of “metabolism changes” in terms of weight gain or weight loss, but you can be physically impacted by the rate at which your body turns food into energy, which is the broad definition of metabolism. For example, abrupt drops or increases in your heart rate can occur when your thyroid causes your metabolism to speed up or slow down.
- Enlarged neck: Of course, in some instances, your neck makes room. In these situations, you might notice a growing lump on your neck. This type of growth is known as a goiter. And an enlarged thyroid is probably what that goiter is telling you. If you detect this, you should consult us as soon as you can.
- Trouble swallowing: Your neck only has so much space in there. A thyroid that is overactive will have a tendency to get bigger. So you will most likely have trouble swallowing if your thyroid is getting bigger. That’s because your thyroid might be pressing in on or squeezing your esophagus.
- Weight changes: Weight changes can occur from both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. You’ll unexpectedly lose weight when your thyroid is hyperactive. That weight will be hard to shed when your thyroid is underactive. It’s not always a good or bad thing to have a weight change, but it can be a bit unnerving if you don’t have any control over your weight.
- Brain Fog: When your body isn’t creating or using energy efficiently, your nervous system slows. You can feel fatigued and sluggish, even in terms of your thinking. Most doctors call this “brain fog,” and it can be a significant symptom of thyroid problems.
It’s not difficult for doctors to treat thyroid issues
For you, a normally working thyroid is the ideal. That way, your body eliminates iodine, and you obtain the metabolism-regulating hormones you require. But if something’s wrong, we will probably be able to help you determine a solution. Most thyroid conditions can be controlled and treated, meaning you’ll quickly see relief of your symptoms.
Call today to make an appointment.