The thyroid is one of the most important glands in your body. Located in the middle of your neck, your thyroid releases hormones that regulate the metabolic rate of your body (how you use food for energy). Because the thyroid controls this rate, it indirectly affects other organs such as the brain, heart, muscles, and liver.
Keeping track of your thyroid health should be on the top of everyone’s list of priorities. Unfortunately, based on the amount of prescription drugs prescribed in the US, thyroid disorders are the biggest health problem we face today. To help our patients regulate their thyroid gland, we’ve listed ten signs that indicate you may be at risk of a thyroid disorder.
Adults should be getting about seven to eight hours of sleep per night. If you find that you are getting the right amount of sleep but you still feel extremely tired during the day, you may have a thyroid problem.
2. Weight Changes
Many people who experience thyroid issues have problems losing or gaining weight. If your weight goals are still out of reach despite exercise and healthy eating habits, you could be suffering from a thyroid disorder.
Do you have problems controlling your mood even with medication? Because hormones from the thyroid affect your brain, it could be a sign of a malfunctioning thyroid.
4. Cholesterol Issues
Fluctuating cholesterol levels that don’t respond to medication or diet changes could be a sign of an undiagnosed thyroid problem.
5. Family History
Thyroid disorders can travel in your genes. If you know that thyroid troubles are part of your family history, then you are at a greater risk of developing a disorder yourself.
6. Menstrual Irregularities or Fertility Problems
For women, heavy periods that cause pain or discomfort could be a sign of an underactive thyroid. On the contrary, lighter, less frequent periods point to an overactive gland. Also, if you are having problems conceiving, your thyroid may be to blame.
7. Bowel Problems
Digestive problems – specifically irregular bowel movements – are signs of a thyroid disorder. If you find you are constipated often, or if you have irritable bowel syndrome, you may want to have your thyroid tested.
8. Hair/Skin Changes
Hair and skin changes are probably the most noticeable thyroid disease symptoms. Hair tends to get very thin and brittle while your skin could get dry and coarse.
9. Neck Discomfort
Do you have discomfort around the front area of your neck? Sometimes, if you have a thyroid disorder, turtlenecks or neckties might cause neck pain due to a goiter (a term for an enlarged thyroid). If you think you may have a goiter, performing self checks at home are pretty simple.
10. Joint or Muscle Pains
Thyroid disorders can be the cause of many other joint or muscle problems such as tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or general pain/stiffness. Fortunately, a lot of these problems clear up after addressing your thyroid gland.
As you can see, there are many symptoms of thyroid problems that you should be aware of. If you notice one or more of these signs, visit our website to learn more about our comprehensive thyroid testing and what we can do for you and your health.