Thyroid issues: Here are the warning signs and what to do
In a 100-person office in the United States, an estimated 12 co-workers, employees and loved ones, will likely develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime.
That’s because, according to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12% of the U.S. population will experience thyroid issues.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits below the Adam’s apple on the front of the windpipe.
Typically, when a thyroid is healthy, its size is so small it can’t be felt. However, if there is an issue, it can swell.
The role your thyroid plays
The thyroid is responsible for secreting certain hormones that play heavy roles in regulating metabolism, development and body temperature, says holistic wellness center EnvoqueMD.
Though it is fairly small, it is a simple structure that plays a key role in overall health and happiness, so when a problem develops the body could suffer.
Conditions and warning signs
Chronic stress hammers the adrenals, which in turn affects the thyroid, Jacqueline Olson, founder of EnvoqueMD said.
She added patients may notice, first, feeling a constant state of insomnia and exhaustion, as well as over all hair loss, including the eyebrows, hairline and lashes.
They may also be “feeling cold when others are not. Putting weight on, especially belly fat, that is stubborn to lose even living a clean lifestyle,” Olson said.
Among some of the problems than can occur are hormones can either be under- or over-produced, otherwise known as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
When too many hormones are produced, this is known as hyperthyroidism.
One disease normally associated with hyperthyroidism is Graves’ Disease, which can be treated and managed.
Symptoms experienced with Graves’ Disease include a pounding heart, sweating, trembling and weight loss.
Additionally, the muscle surrounding the eye may become inflamed or swollen, causing the eye to protrude from its socket.
Further, other indications of hyperthyroidism include dry skin, depression, muscle weakness, thinning hair and getting tired more easily, according to WebMD.
If the gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, this is known as hypothyroidism. One autoimmune disease that can cause this to happen is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
In this disease, the immune system begins to attack the thyroid causing the gland to be unable to produce hormones.
Symptoms include weight gain, fatigue, constipation, inability to get warm, puffiness of the face, hair loss and difficulties with menstruation.
Hypothyroidism is hereditary, so “if either of your parents have been diagnosed, you also have a 95% chance to also struggle with hypothyroidism and should get checked,” Olson said.
If issues continue to go undiagnosed, people become at risk for serious conditions, which include cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and infertility.
“Depression and heart disease is very common when hypothyroidism is ignored,” Olson said. “If a woman is in child bearing years, she might struggle with infertility and even birth defects in newborns.”
As up to 60% of those living with a thyroid condition are undiagnosed and unaware, says the American Thyroid Association, it’s best to check with an expert to have total confidence in your health.
If it’s been a while since consulting a specialist, experts at EnvoqueMD in the Valley are accepting appointments for $99 thyroid testing and consultation ($360 value) for KTAR readers.
To be contacted by Envoque MD please fill out the form below.
Offices are located at 10155 E. Vía Linda in Scottsdale and 1423 S. Higley Road in Mesa.