How to identify a thyroid condition?

Did you know that around 27 million Americans have a thyroid condition? If not, then you are not alone. Thyroid-related diseases are often thought not to be so common, while the situation in real life is quite different. The problem is that it can be sometimes difficult to determine that you actually suffer from some form of thyroid condition, mostly because thyroid condition has subtle symptoms that can easily be mistaken for some other health issues. The good news is that thyroid conditions, when diagnosed, are easily treatable.

What exactly is thyroid?

In simple words, thyroid gland is one of the few endocrine glands that we have in our bodies. It is located in the neck, below the larynx and it is shaped like a butterfly. The thyroid gland has an important function – it makes hormones that help control the basic functions of our organs – brain, heart, kidneys, liver and skin.

What are the most common thyroid diseases?

There are many different conditions and diseases that can cause the malfunction of the thyroid gland. However, the two most common are the hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is a situation in which the thyroid gland produces more hormones than the body needs and is able to use. The most common disease caused by hyperthyroidism is the Graves’ disease. On the other hand, the hypothyroidism is a situation in which the thyroid gland is unable to produce enough hormones that the body needs. There are many causes for this – from surgical removal of the thyroid gland to autoimmune disease. Furthermore, it is possible to get the cancer of the thyroid, however, this type of cancer is most treatable of all types of cancer.

How can a thyroid condition be recognized? What are the most common symptoms?

The first thing you need to know about identifying thyroid conditions is that the symptoms that first appear might indicate that something else might be wrong with you. Furthermore, the symptoms might be different from one person to another, which makes it even more difficult to recognize. Some doctors say that if you already have one health issue, thyroid condition might even worsen the health issues you experienced in the first place.

These are the signs that could indicate a thyroid condition:

Muscle cramps

Intolerance to cold (especially demonstrated in toes and fingers)

Difficulty swallowing

Hoarse voice

Dry hair and nails

Itchy or dry skin

Weight gain that can’t be explained paired with fluid retention

Experiencing difficulty remembering, learning

Feeling like you are in a fog

Constipation, no matter what you eat

Heavier PMS, menstrual periods, fertility issues

Lack of interest, depression

Feeling exhausted, drowsy, fatigued, run down

If you have experienced most of these symptoms, it is time to visit your doctor and schedule a screening of your thyroid hormone levels. Make sure that you go through with it, since as the time goes by, you might get used to these symptoms and it might appear as normal day to you.

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