Many do not realize or are not diagnosed with thyroid disease until something major occurs in their lives or they go in for another procedure and have to get tests ran.
Most will continue to live pretty active lives, but within time they may start to feel tired and will have constant tightness in their throats.
What you probably do not know about your thyroid
Thyroid disease is more common than diabetes and heart disease, but more than half of Americans with thyroid disease are unaware, according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). This lack of awareness can endanger a person’s health and well-being.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located low in the front of the neck below the Adam’s apple. It produces thyroid hormones that influence almost every cell, tissue and organ in the human body.
Common signs of thyroid diseases include:
- Unexplained changes in weight
- Depression, anxiety or feelings of irritability
- Changes in memory or ability to concentrate
- Joint or muscle pain or weakness
- Fatigue or trouble sleeping
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Irregular menstrual periods
According to the AACE, if the thyroid does not function correctly, it can affect every possible aspect of a person’s life. Remember that thyroid conditions can cause changes in mental health, including depression. Several disorders can arise if the thyroid produces too much hormone (hyperthyroidism) or not enough (hypothyroidism).
Other thyroid diseases include:
- Thyroid cancer
- Graves’ disease
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Thyroid eye disease
Undiagnosed thyroid issues can also place a person at increased risk for heart disease, osteoporosis, infertility and other serious conditions.
What to do if you are ‘up to here’ with not feeling like yourself
The first step to ensure your thyroid gland functions properly is to speak with a health care provider about your symptoms and whether a thyroid test is needed.
An endocrinologist is a specially trained doctor who is qualified to diagnose and treat hormone-related diseases and conditions, including thyroid cancer and all other diseases related to the thyroid gland.
Visit thyroidawareness.com to learn more about thyroid health.