Key Symptoms Of A Thyroid Condition
As far as illnesses go, thyroid conditions are often overlooked until they are the last possible option to be considered. While more than 12% of Americans will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime, it is still a very under-discussed area of healthcare.
In this post, we’ll break down the key symptoms of having a thyroid condition, as well as how your thyroid should function at peak health!
What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a gland in your neck that does a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to your hormones. Your thyroid releases hormones which regulate your body’s daily functions, such as…
- Your heart rate.
- Your metabolic rate.
- Your body’s temperature.
- Your ability to burn calories.
These hormones are extremely important in terms of how they affect your digestion and energy storage from the food you eat.
What should a healthy thyroid look like?
A healthy thyroid should release the right levels of hormones so that your body can function as normal. An unhealthy thyroid might have nodules, which are like lumps, that can appear when you swallow or if you feel around your neck with your fingertips.
If you see any lumps or bumps on your neck when you lean it back to tighten the skin, you should contact your doctor. It could be that your thyroid is enlarged, which might be a symptom of a bigger problem.
Symptoms of a thyroid condition
Here are the key symptoms of a thyroid condition. Remember, having these symptoms doesn’t mean you definitely have a thyroid condition, but having some of them together could point towards your thyroid as the main issue.
See a doctor if you have one or more of these symptoms.
Symptoms of an overactive thyroid.
An overactive thyroid means your thyroid is over-producing the hormones it releases. Symptoms include:
- Sleepless nights, also known as insomnia.
- Unexplained weight loss (if you haven’t changed your diet or exercise regimes and begin losing weight).
- Irregular periods.
- Heat sensitivity.
Symptoms of an underactive thyroid.
- Extreme or chronic fatigue.
- Feeling cold all the time, or being unable to cope with cold weather.
- A croaky voice.
- Unexplained weight gain.
How does a doctor test for thyroid problems?
If you have some of these symptoms and visit your doctor to discuss your thyroid, you might not know what to expect at your appointment. Usually, your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms, and then feel your thyroid gland to see if there are any immediate signs of thyroid problems.
Beyond this, your doctor will refer you for blood tests and imaging to determine the state of your thyroid. After these results come back, your doctor will be able to diagnose or rule out thyroid conditions as the reason for your symptoms, and administer thyroid treatment if necessary.
Your thyroid might not be something you think about often, but we should all be aware of how our thyroids can cause problems if they are overactive or underactive. Make sure you speak with your doctor about your thyroid if you are worried about any of these symptoms.