Do you ever find yourself feeling consistently fatigued or weak? Body aches and unexplainable weight changes? Maybe you’ve been dealing with hair loss, dry skin, and brittle nails or have recently become extra forgetful?
You’re not alone.
30 Million Americans currently have thyroid disease and according to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12% of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition in their lifetime. It’s been said that this disease has now become even more common than diabetes or heart disease. The scariest part – More than half of these Americans remain undiagnosed, untreated, and are left feeling hopeless.
Let’s start with what the Thyroid actually is. The thyroid is a small gland shaped somewhat reminiscent of a butterfly and is located at the base of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. (Yes, women have Adam’s apples, too. But we’ll save that for a different post!) This small gland produces hormones that help your entire body function properly! It regulates your body’s metabolic rate, assists in the healthy functioning of your heart, digestive system, muscle control, bones, brain development and even sets the tone for your mood. For such a small gland, it has one of the biggest jobs in your entire body. So just imagine how catastrophic it can be when it isn’t working properly.
There are two types of thyroid disease: Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism. The difference between the two is the thyroid’s hormone output. Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid in which the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone for the body’s needs. Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid in which the thyroid gland is producing an overabundance of hormones that exceeds the body’s needs.
Untreated thyroid disease can cause a whirlwind of serious issues, including but not limited to mental decline, elevated cholesterol, infertility, decreased lung function, osteoporosis, and even subsequent heart disease.
Since January is National Thyroid Awareness Month and thyroid disease can be a hidden illness that mimics other conditions, our incredible doctors at Premier MD Care want to make sure you’re staying on top of your health! There are two ways to identify thyroid disease in the body. One is by requesting to have a simple blood test that includes more than just the TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) which informs our physicians what your thyroid hormone levels are. The second is by receiving an exam to see if there are any structural abnormalities in the thyroid. Thyroid disease has also been known to be passed down within a family, so if any of your relatives have a thyroid condition, it’s best to get checked! We recommend checking your TSH annually, taking recommended supplements, as well as maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine.
Come see our physicians to learn more and see what’s going on with your thyroid today!