Don’t wait up for signs to get yourself checked for thyroid. Do it now!
You’re exhausted and can’t seem to concentrate. You’ve been losing (or gaining) weight without putting in much effort. Are these simply symptoms of ageing, or may you be suffering from a thyroid problem?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck that secretes hormones (T3 and T4) that control metabolism. Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid releases too many of these hormones. It may also be underactive (hypothyroidism), which means it releases insufficient amounts of these hormones.
The thyroid is most frequently slightly overactive or underactive in older people, but not enough to be diagnosed with hypothyroidism. This is referred to as a subclinical thyroid problem. It has the same causes as hypothyroidism, but since the symptoms can be subtle and resemble those of other disorders, determining if you have a subclinical thyroid disorder and, if so, if it needs to be handled can be difficult.
What is the thyroid and how does it affect us?
The thyroid gland is a tiny organ that wraps around the windpipe in the front of the body (trachea). It’s in the form of a butterfly, smaller in the middle with two large wings that wrap around the side of your neck. The thyroid gland is a type of gland. Throughout your body, glands produce and release substances that assist your body in performing specific tasks.
When your thyroid isn’t functioning correctly, it can harm your whole body. Hyperthyroidism is a disorder that occurs when the body produces too much thyroid hormone. When the body produces too few thyroid hormones, it is the condition of Hypothyroidism. Both of these conditions are severe and should be treated by a medical professional.
Your thyroid plays a critical role in your body, releasing and regulating thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism. Metabolism is the mechanism by which the food you eat is converted into energy. This energy is used all over your body to keep many of your body’s processes functioning properly. Consider your metabolism to be an engine. It absorbs raw energy and transforms it into something more powerful.
Thyroid disease symptoms can be classified into two groups: those caused by too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) and those caused by too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism)
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid) include:
- Anxiety, irritability, and nervousness
- Difficulty in sleeping.
- Unnecessary weight loss.
- Having a thyroid gland that is swollen.
- Having tremors and muscle fatigue.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) include:
- Putting on weight.
- Low memory.
- Having heavy and regular menstrual cycles.
- Dry and rough hair.
Is it curable or does one have to learn to manage it?
Your healthcare provider aims to get your thyroid hormone levels back to normal. This can be achieved in several ways, and the care you receive will be determined by the origin of your thyroid disease.
If you have hyperthyroidism, you can get treated by the following:
Anti-thyroid medicines: (methimazole and propylthiouracil) prevent the thyroid from producing hormones.
Beta-blockers: it does not affect the number of hormones in your body, so they can help you manage your symptoms.
The key treatment choice if you have lower thyroid hormone levels (hypothyroidism) is:
Thyroid replacement medicine is a synthetic (man-made) method of reintroducing thyroid hormones into the body. Levothyroxine is a widely used medication. You can manage thyroid disease and live a normal life by taking medicine.
You should definitely get your thyroid checked if:
If you’ve noticed some of the signs or symptoms mentioned below, it’s time to get your thyroid tested.
- Though your routines haven’t changed, your weight has changed dramatically.
- You’ve noticed that your appearance has changed.
- You seem to be exhausted all of the time.
- You’re either hot or cold all the time, but you’re never relaxed.
Bottom line: You don’t need to get tested if you’re feeling well and your weight is steady. Ask your doctor if you should be checked if you have one or more of these problems, or if you have a genetic history of thyroid problems.