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How Do You Know If You Have Thyroid

What Is Your Thyroid And What Does It Do

How Do You Know If You Have a Thyroid Problem?

Located at the base of the neck, our thyroid is small yet powerful. It may be light like a butterfly, weighing approximately 20 grams, but shouldnt be taken lightly. It is responsible for our metabolism. It regulates all body functions including the heart rate, respiration, body temperature, and other organs. It ensures that all systems are a go.

Signs You Might Have A Thyroid Problem

When your thyroid stops working as it should, you can experience a variety of symptoms that might seem unrelated or even odd. From chills and brain fog to thinning hair and weight gain, if your thyroid isnt functioning well, you may be experiencing symptoms that are subtle and hard to characterize.

Women are more likely to experience issues with their thyroid, but anyone can suffer thyroid problems. Recognizing the symptoms of an overactive or underactive thyroid is the best way to get the treatment you need.

Other Causes Of Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism can also result from thyroid nodules. These are lumps that develop inside the thyroid and sometimes begin producing thyroid hormones. Large lumps may create a noticeable goiter. Smaller lumps can be detected with ultrasound. A thyroid uptake and scan can tell if the lump is producing too much thyroid hormone.

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What Causes Thyroid Disease

The two main types of thyroid disease are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Both conditions can be caused by other diseases that impact the way the thyroid gland works.

Conditions that can cause hypothyroidism include:

  • Thyroiditis: This condition is an inflammation of the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis can lower the amount of hormones your thyroid produces.
  • Hashimotos thyroiditis: A painless disease, Hashimotos thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition where the bodys cells attack and damage the thyroid. This is an inherited condition.
  • Postpartum thyroiditis: This condition occurs in 5% to 9% of women after childbirth. Its usually a temporary condition.
  • Iodine deficiency: Iodine is used by the thyroid to produce hormones. An iodine deficiency is an issue that affects several million people around the world..
  • A non-functioning thyroid gland: Sometimes, the thyroid gland doesnt work correctly from birth. This affects about 1 in 4,000 newborns. If left untreated, the child could have both physical and mental issues in the future. All newborns are given a screening blood test in the hospital to check their thyroid function.

Conditions that can cause hyperthyroidism include:

How Are Autoimmune Thyroid Disorders Diagnosed

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  • Blood tests check the level of thyroid hormones in your blood.
  • An ultrasound uses sound waves to show pictures of your thyroid on a monitor.
  • A thyroid scan shows how well your thyroid is working. You may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help healthcare providers see the pictures better. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
  • Fine needle biopsy is a procedure where a small needle is used to take a sample of your thyroid gland for tests.

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What Common Symptoms Can Happen With Thyroid Disease

There are a variety of symptoms you could experience if you have a thyroid disease. Unfortunately, symptoms of a thyroid condition are often very similar to the signs of other medical conditions and stages of life. This can make it difficult to know if your symptoms are related to a thyroid issue or something else entirely.

For the most part, the symptoms of thyroid disease can be divided into two groups those related to having too much thyroid hormone and those related to having too little thyroid hormone .

Symptoms of an overactive thyroid can include:

  • Experiencing anxiety, irritability and nervousness.
  • Having trouble sleeping.
  • Experiencing an intolerance to cold temperatures.

You Have Thyroid Cancer

Over 95% of thyroid growths are noncancerous. But, in the rare chance that you get a thyroid cancer diagnosis, it usually responds very well to treatment, especially surgery. This condition typically doesnt cause any symptoms in the early stages, but as it progresses, you might notice:

  • A lump on your neck
  • Changes to your voice
  • Swollen lymph nodes in your neck

We might also recommend surgery to make a thyroid cancer diagnosis.

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It Probably Isn’t Causing Your Weight Gain

You’ll often find an underactive thyroid gland cited as a cause of weight gain. However, whilst in extreme cases this condition can lead those affected to put on a few more pounds, it’s more likely that weight gain – even in someone with the condition – is down to a number of different factors.

“Most people with hypothyroidism dont gain much weight,” reveals Simon Pearce, professor of endocrinology at the University of Newcastle and member of the Society for Endocrinology.

“For the majority of cases of hypothyroidism, which are rather mild, treating it doesnt affect weight particularly; it’s only in the most severe cases.”

“Weight gain has a number of causes,” agrees Dr Bernard Khoo, consultant endocrinologist at The London Clinic. “It’s multifactorial. It’s partly due to what people eat; partly it’s our activity levels; partly it’s something that you inherit from your parents. It could also be to do with gut bacteria; research suggests if you have a low population you can start gaining weight. Finally, poor sleep also plays a part in weight gain.”

Surprising facts about thyroid problems

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Is It Menopause Or Thyroid Disorder

Thyroid Problems- How Do You Know If You Have A Thyroid Problem?

Thyroid disorders can cause symptoms that are mistaken for those of a woman approaching menopause. Both menstrual cycle changes and mood changes can result from the menopausal transition or from thyroid conditions. Blood tests can determine which of these conditions is responsible for your symptoms. It’s also possible to have a combination of the two causes.

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Your Muscles Are Acting Up

Muscle twitching, cramping, and pain can be signs of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. They can also indicate your electrolytesmainly calcium and sodiumare out of balance.

If you feel sudden and intense muscle pain when you havent done any strenuous;physical activity, it might be because your thyroid function has changed.

The Role Of Your Thyroid

First, its good to know what your thyroid does in the body. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland right near the larynx that produces hormones, said Naresh Rao, a board-certified family medicine physician, partner at Sports Medicine at Chelsea and founder of Max Sports Health in New York City.

The thyroids main function is to produce triiodothyronine and thyroxine , which help regulate almost all bodily functions, including your weight, metabolism, energy levels and body temperature, as well as how your skin, hair and nails grow.

Theres also something called the thyroid-stimulating hormone, which is produced by the pituitary gland and tells your thyroid to make more T3 and T4. There are tests to check your TSH, T3 and T4 levels, all of which can tell doctors if you have a thyroid problem.

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Signs Your Thyroid Is Underactive

Your thyroida small gland in your neckhas a huge impact on your body. It produces thyroid hormone , which is responsible for keeping your metabolism, heartbeat, temperature, mood, and more, in check. An underactive thyroid doesn’t produce enough TH, and that can cause a host of health problems. Watch the video for the warning signs.

Your thyroida small gland in your neckhas a huge impact on your body. It produces thyroid hormone , which is responsible for keeping your metabolism, heartbeat, temperature, mood, and more, in check. An underactive thyroid doesn’t produce enough TH, and that can cause a host of health problems. Watch the video for the warning signs.

Don’t have time to watch? Read the full transcript:

You’re exhausted: Too little thyroid hormone makes you feel fatigued.

You’ve gained weight: An underactive thyroid slows your metabolism.

Your skin is dry and itchy: Hair and nails might be brittle, too.

You’re feeling down: Thyroid hormones can affect brain chemistry and mood.

You’ve got brain fog: A sluggish thyroid can make you forgetful and fuzzy-headed.

You’re all backed up: Digestion slows down, making you constipated.

Your flow is like whoa: Say hello to longer, heavier periods with more cramps.

You’re constantly cold: Total system slowdown = less energy burned. That means less body heat.

Think you have a thyroid problem? See your doc and ask to get tested.

Reproductive Changes In Women Could Mean You Have Low Thyroid

How to Know If You Have a Thyroid Problem  7 Major Signs

Women are at an increased risk for developing thyroid disease. Women are also more likely to develop thyroid conditions after pregnancy and following menopause.

Women may experience a change in their menstrual cycle if their thyroid function is off, says Dodell. Not only might you experience irregularities in your cycle, but hypothyroidism may also cause periods that are much heavier than normal.

Women who are trying to conceive may have difficulties getting pregnant. Therefore, women who are trying to get pregnant or are planning to try and get pregnant in the near future should have their thyroid levels checked, Dodell explains. We also monitor women who are being treated for hypothyroidism closely during pregnancy, since the dose of medication may need to be adjusted.

Menopausal women may experience worsening symptoms. Early;menopause;is a side effect of hypothyroidism this occurs when the onset of menopause is before age 40.

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Causes: Pituitary Gland Problems

Thyroid disease may begin in the pituitary gland. The pituitary is located at the base of your brain. It controls the functions of many other glands in the body, including the thyroid. This gland produces TSH, which signals the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormones.

If there is a problem with your pituitary and not enough TSH is produced, thyroid problems can result. Inflammation of the thyroid and taking certain medications can also cause low thyroid hormone levels.

Surgery For Thyroid Cancer

Most patients with thyroid cancer have some type of surgery. Surgery is done to take out the tumor and all or part of the thyroid gland. Sometimes lymph nodes are taken out from the neck, too.

Side effects of surgery

Any type of surgery can have risks and side effects. Be sure to ask the doctor what you can expect. Possible side effects of thyroid surgery include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding or a blood clot in the neck
  • Damage to the parathyroid glands
  • Short or long term problems with your voice

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How Is Thyroid Disease Diagnosed And Evaluated

Symptoms often prompt patients to visit the doctor, including fatigue, the inability to get pregnant, changes in the skin or hair, a lump in the neck, hoarseness or pain in the thyroid area. Based on these symptoms, a doctor will likely perform a physical exam to determine whether the thyroid is enlarged and order blood tests to measure thyroid hormone levels. If blood tests reveal signs of abnormal thyroid activity or thyroid cancer, further testing will be required, such as:

Can I Live A Normal Life With A Thyroid Disease

What is the Thyroid Gland and How Do You Know if You Have A Thyroid Issue?

A thyroid disease is often a life-long medical condition that you will need to manage constantly. This often involves a daily medication. Your healthcare provider will monitor your treatments and make adjustments over time. However, you can usually live a normal life with a thyroid disease. It may take some time to find the right treatment option for you and control your hormone levels, but then people with these types of conditions can usually live life without many restrictions.

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Are Thyroid Nodules Serious

Most often the answer is no. You usually canât feel thyroid nodules. Even though they happen from an overgrowth of cells, most thyroid nodules arenât cancer.

About 1 in 10 thyroid nodules turn out to be cancer. Benign thyroid nodules are common. Lots of people get them as they get older. If a thyroid nodule isnât cancerous,Â; it may not need any treatment. Doctors might just watch to make sure it doesnât keep growing or begin to cause other problems.

Common Signs Of Thyroid Disease In Children

The thyroid gland which is located at the front of the neck near the clavicles is responsible for the rate of all metabolic and chemical processes in our body, in every cell, tissue and organ. Thyroid gland disorders consequently have a profound effect upon the human body. When the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone , the condition is called;hyperthyroidism. When the thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone , the condition is called;hypothyroidism. Thyroid problems can occur at any age; infants can even be born with a thyroid problem!According to;the American Diabetes Association and the Pediatric Endocrine Society, parents should look for the following symptoms that may indicate problems with their childs thyroid.

Signs of hyperthyroidism can include:

  • Feeling jumpy including trembling hands and trouble concentrating
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Big appetite along with weight loss
  • Wide eyed stare including possible eyes bulging out
  • Other problems can include fainting and looser stool
  • The most common cause of hyperthyroidism in children and adolescents is an autoimmune condition called Graves disease which causes the body to produce antibodies that stimulate the thyroid gland uncontrollably, making too much thyroid hormone.;

    Signs of hypothyroidism can include:

  • Weight gain without increased appetite
  • Constipation or harder stool less often
  • Other problems can include brittle hair and dry skin
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    What Are The Symptoms Of Thyroid Nodules

    Most children with thyroid nodules feel fine and have no symptoms.

    While symptoms may vary from child to child, the most common include:

    • a visible lump in the neck
    • a sensation of a lump in the throat when swallowing
    • unexplained hoarseness

    A rare type of thyroid nodule called an autonomous nodule can produce too much thyroid hormone. This can cause symptoms like:

    • weight loss

    Favorite Sites For Hypothyroid Diet Advice

    Thyroid Issues? Check Out Your Eyes!!

    Its often said that food is just as important as medicine, and this couldnt be truer when youre dealing with symptoms of hypothyroidism including any extra weight you cant seem to get rid of. Still, the internet can often cause more confusion when youre trying to figure out what you can and cant eat with hypothyroidism. We find the above article helpful in debunking some of the myths about diet and hypothyroidism, while also providing sound medical advice on what you should be eating.

    For a less technical read, Endocrine Web offers a succinct overview on the right foods to eat with a thyroid condition. We find the advice about not falling for fad or elimination diets a big relief, as well as the rule of thumb to focus on eating more vegetables, and not avoiding them for fear of decreased thyroid function.

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    You Have A Large Growth Or Goiter

    Growths and goiters are very different thyroid issues. If you have an abnormal growth on your thyroid, it can be a solid or fluid-filled nodule or a cyst. A goiter, on the other hand, develops when your thyroid itself becomes enlarged.;

    While nodules, cysts, and goiters typically arent cause for concern, they can become so large that they cause uncomfortable symptoms, including:;

    • A visible or unsightly mass in your neck
    • Coughing or hoarseness
    • Pain in your neck or throat

    In some cases, large growths and goiters can also make it hard to breathe.

    Surgery For Thyroid Disorders

    Removing the thyroid gland can cure hyperthyroidism, but the procedure is only recommended if antithyroid drugs don’t work, or if there is a large goiter. Surgery may also be recommended for patients with thyroid nodules. Once the thyroid is removed, most patients require daily supplements of thyroid hormones to avoid developing hypothyroidism.

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    If You Have A Symptom Of Hypothyroidism Should You Be Worried

    The most common hypothyroid symptoms are fatigue, cold intolerance, constipation, slower metabolism, and dry skin, while more surprising signs may be a slower heart rate, joint and muscle pain, and dry or puffy skin, says;Gregory Dodell, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine, endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Some people might experience one symptom but not the others.

    Another possibility is having multiple symptoms with different causes. For instance, fatigue could be related to a;mental health;condition, while a slower heart rate may be hypothyroid related.

    Hashimoto’s Disease And Hypothyroidism

    How do you know if you have an underactive thyroid?

    The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s disease. It’s an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body’s own immune system attacks the thyroid and causes inflammation. This prevents the thyroid from making enough hormones, causing hypothyroidism.;

    Hashimoto’s disease often runs in families, and it affects women more than men. People with other autoimmune diseases are also more likely to get Hashimoto’s disease.

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    Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    • Is my thyroid nodule cancer? If it isnt now, does this mean that I am more prone to developing thyroid cancer?
    • Will my children be more likely to get thyroid nodules?
    • What is the best treatment for my thyroid nodules?
    • If I have one thyroid nodule now and it goes away, will it come back?
    • What can I do at home to prevent thyroid nodules?
    • Do you have any educational materials I can read?
    • Can you recommend any websites?

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