Do You Have These Symptoms? It Could be Your Thyroid

For such a small gland, the thyroid has a big job. It keeps your body working properly. It regulates your metabolism and helps with growth. It can even change your heart rate. Many symptoms can be hard to recognize, so how do you know if you should be checked for a thyroid problem?

Surprisingly more than 27 million Americans have some type of thyroid disease and of those; roughly 13 million are unaware of their thyroid condition. To ensure that your thyroid is healthy let’s take a closer look at some of the common risk factors, the common thyroid conditions and their symptoms.

Risk Factors:
  • Heredity: some thyroid conditions can run in families, learn about your family history
  • Being female: women are more likely to have thyroid conditions and women may experience unique symptoms
  • Middle age or older: with older age thyroid issues are more common
  • Pregnancy: the major shifts in hormones during pregnancy can cause or worsen thyroid problems
  • Autoimmune disorders: this means that your immune system starts to attack itself by making antibodies against the thyroid gland
Common Thyroid Conditions & Symptoms:

Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is the most common type of thyroid disorder. It means your thyroid gland is not active enough. 

  • Symptoms: This condition can cause varying symptoms that are different from person to person. Some of the most common symptoms include, tiredness (fatigue), slow speech, weight gain, constipation, slow pulse, muscle cramps, irregular menstrual flow and several others.

Hyperthyroidism: Hyperthyroidism means your thyroid gland is too active. This makes your metabolism work at a faster rate.

  • Symptoms: Nervousness, sweating more than normal, weight loss, problems sleeping, tiredness, fast heartbeat and high blood pressure and several others.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Thyroiditis is when your thyroid gland becomes irritated. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common type of this health problem. It is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when your body makes antibodies that attack the cells in your thyroid. The thyroid then can’t make enough of the thyroid hormone.

  • Symptoms: Goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland), underactive thyroid symptoms (e.g., tiredness, muscle weakness, weight gain…etc.), overactive thyroid symptoms (e.g., rapid heart rate, sweating, anxiety…etc.).

Tips for Thyroid Testing:

If you have risk factors or symptoms, make sure to talk to your physician sooner rather than later. Research suggests thyroid dysfunction can harm your health. It may raise your risk for heart problems, such as an irregular heartbeat and heart failure. Some studies have also linked it to thinking and memory troubles. What’s more, thyroid dysfunction may turn into thyroid disease. That’s when both TSH and thyroid hormone levels are above or below normal for a long period of time.

Make sure your physician tests for TSH levels along with other thyroid hormones. You can have a thyroid problem without any symptoms. This condition is called thyroid dysfunction. It’s when your pituitary gland makes too much or too little thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH tells your thyroid to make its own hormones that help with body function. Thyroid hormone levels are often normal if you have thyroid dysfunction.

With such a wide array of thyroid conditions, Gwinnett Medical Center is prepared to provide complete care ranging from testing to diagnosis to treatment. With primary care physicians and endocrinologists, our specialists will ensure you receive the individual attention you deserve.


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