January is National Thyroid Awareness Month
More than 20 million Americans suffer from thyroid disorders. It’s more common than diabetes and heart disease, but an estimated 60 percent of cases go undiagnosed. Most of the time, when we feel something different in our bodies, we simply tell ourselves it’s just a cold, allergies, or age.
Sometimes this is true, but more often than we expect, these seemingly innocent problems can indicate bigger medical issues. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to the messages our bodies send us — such as when we experience issues with our thyroid.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland found in the center of your neck. It is the central gland to your metabolism and plays both major and minor roles in every single one of your bodily functions.
Below is a list of 10 signs that something may be wrong with your thyroid:
- Feeling sad or depressed – An over- or under-active thyroid can completely alter your mood. Hypothyroidism tens to make people feel tired, sluggish and depressed. Hyperthyroidism can cause anxiety and restlessness.
- Constipation – Constipation is a taboo subject that no one likes to discuss. However it is a very real issue for hypothyroidism sufferers. If you are suffering from constipation and you can’t kick it, it is likely a disruption in thyroid hormone production has caused a slowdown in digestion.
- Sleeping too much – A sluggish thyroid can make bodily functions slow to a turtle’s pace, making you feel sleepy even during the day.
- Dry skin & hair loss – Is your skin dry and itchy all the time? This may be a symptom of hypothyroidism. The shift in texture is thanks to a slowed metabolism, which can reduce sweating.
Have you ever wondered why your hair is falling out? A lack of thyroid hormone interrupts your hair growth cycle, which results in hair loss, sometimes even outside of your eyebrows. I most cases, the hair will grow back once the thyroid disorder is treated.
- Sudden weight gain – Though weight gain can be caused by many factors, suddenly weight gain without any changes to your dietary or physical habits could be cause for concern.
- Muscular pain – If you feel random and mysterious tightening or numbness in your arms, hands, legs, or feet, consider that your thyroid may be the culprit. A lack of thyroid hormone can damage the nerves that send signals from your brain to the rest of your body over time.
- High blood pressure – If you have high blood pressure and nothing seems to be resolving the issue without medication — such as a healthier diet or more exercise — it could be an issue with your thyroid. An under-active thyroid can cause high levels of bad cholesterol, which unfortunately can lead to an enlarged heart or heart failure.
- Increased appetite or changes in taste – Do things taste differently all of a sudden? An under-active thyroid can mess with your sense of taste and smell. If you can’t stop eating, it may be hyperthyroidism — or an overactive thyroid.
- Neck or throat discomfort – A lump in your throat, change in your voice, or even a goiter could be a sign of a thyroid disorder. If you feel any of these things, look at your neck in the mirror and see if you notice any swelling.
- Feeling too hot or cold – Thyroid disorders can disrupt the ability to regulate body temperature. People with hypothyroidism may feel cold more often than usual. Hyperthyroidism tends to have the opposite effect, causing excessive sweating and an aversion to hear.
If you’re experiencing a few of the symptoms mentioned above, please schedule an appointment today by calling (502) 995-5525 or clicking the button below.
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