If you had to guess, how many Americans would you say are currently afflicted with some form of thyroid disease? The answer, surprisingly, is an estimated 20 million — a frightening figure. But it gets scarier. According to certain reports, an astonishing 13 million of those are actually completely unaware that they’re living with such a disorder.
Those numbers aren’t meant to scare you, but there’s no denying that they do induce a bit of fear. Thyroid disease, after all, is a complicated beast with many different implications depending on the severity of the symptoms. All thyroid conditions can be broken down into two categories: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Though they’re nearly identical in name, the former concerns a thyroid that’s not functioning at capacity and the latter refers to one that’s actually functioning over capacity.
But what does the thyroid do, anyway? Think of it as a main hub for your endocrine system to produce hormones necessary for the body to carry out its daily activities. It’s important that the body gets the appropriate amount of these hormones. When it doesn’t, that’s when problems tend to arise.
In order to promote good thyroid health, we’ve compiled this list of four common thyroid warning signs that may point to a disorder or a serious disease. For example:
1. Fatigue, depression and constipation.
What They May Suggest: In short, these are all symptoms of hypothyroidism, or an under-active thyroid. If left unchecked, these can lead to even more problematic symptoms in the future such as weight gain, a puffy face, muscle weakness and thinning hair. How can you catch it early? Always tell your doctor if you’re experiencing any changes.
2. Nervousness, anxiety, lack of sleep.
What They May Suggest: On the opposite end of the spectrum, these might be troubling warning signs of hyperthyroidism, or an overactive gland. Untreated, they can bloom into larger issues like drastic weight loss, rapid heartbeat and difficulty concentrating. Luckily, a number of overactive thyroid treatment options are available.
3. Frequent bathroom trips and clammy skin.
What They May Suggest: One word — dehydration. More specifically, dehydration caused by a speeding up of the metabolism, often a sign of hyperthyroidism. Doctors have prescribed both medication and, in some cases, even surgery as the leading overactive thyroid treatment options.
4. Decreased sweating and heavy menstrual cycles.
What They May Suggest: Because of the irregularities in the body’s processes, a lack of hormones from the thyroid (caused by hypothyroidism) could be to blame. These are often some of the most taboo symptoms of thyroid problems, but there’s no denying that they’re serious and always demand immediate attention from your doctor.
Remember — an online article can’t diagnose you with a health problem. Only a doctor can do that. For more information, always make an appointment with your primary care physician to speak about your problems more specifically. He or she will have more information about under-active and overactive thyroid treatment options. More information like this: thyroidvirginiabeach.com
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