The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the base of the neck . It influences the function of the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin.
- Weight Gain or Loss:
An unexplained change in weight is one of the most common signs of a thyroid disorder. Weight gain is associated with low levels of thyroid hormones, a condition called hypothyroidism. However you may lose weight unexpectedly this is known as hyperthyroidism.
- Swelling in the Neck: A swelling or enlargement in the neck is called a goiter and it may occur with either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Sometimes swelling in the neck can result from thyroid cancer or nodules.
- Changes in Heart Rate: People with hypothyroidism may notice a slower heart rate than usual. Hyperthyroidism may cause a rapid heart rate. It can also trigger increased blood pressure and heart palpitations.
- Changes in Energy or Mood: Hypothyroidism tends to make people fatigued and depressed. Hyperthyroidism can cause anxiety restlessness,irritability and problem sleeping.
- Hair Loss: Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause hair to fall out. In most cases, the hair will grow back once the thyroid disorder is treated.
- Feeling Too Cold or Hot: Hypothyroidism may cause you to feel cold more often than usual. Hyperthyroidism causes excessive sweating and feeling hot.
Other Symptoms of Hypothyroidism include:
Dry skin, brittle nails, Numbness or tingling in the hands, Constipation and Abnormal menstrual periods
Other Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism include : Muscle weakness or trembling hands, Vision problems, Diarrhea,Irregular menstrual periods
Diagnosis : Taking in consideration your symptoms your doctor will perform a complete physical exam and order a test to check your levels of thyroid hormones; TSH, T3, T4. Your doctor may determine if additional diagnostic testing is require prior to starting treatment.
Make an appointment with your SHF doctor if you have any signs or symptoms that worry you. Discuss Thyroid disease screening and treatment with your SHF doctor.