January is Thyroid Awareness Month! | What You Need To Know

Do you know the difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism?

Your thyroid gland is located in the middle of the lower neck.  Although a very small gland, the thyroid controls your metabolism, as well as your cells, tissues and organs in the body. If your thyroid does not produce enough hormone, that is called hyperthyroidism, and producing too much hormone causes hypothyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism can cause various symptoms such as extreme fatigue, depression, forgetfulness and possible weight gain. Graves disease is a type of hyperthyroidism.

Hypothyroidism can include multiple symptoms including but not limited to weight loss, irritability and nervousness and muscle weakness to name a few. 

Many people do not know that they have thyroid disease. While thyroid disease can be a lifelong illness, it can be controlled with proper medical management.

The American Thyroid Association has devoted tremendous time and resources to bring awareness about how prevalent thyroid disease is, as well as resources going toward genetic research into Graves disease and improving diagnosis and treatment options. 

Women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to have thyroid problems.

Since the origin of thyroid disease is not definitive, it should be noted that while most thyroid cancers can be treated, there are forms that can be extremely aggressive.

An important piece of information to know!

If you have an undiagnosed or incorrectly treated thyroid condition, getting pregnant could be EXTREMELY DANGEROUS to your unborn child.  Some of these dangers could possibly include miscarriages, premature births and developmental difficulties for children. 

If you have experienced any of the symptoms noted above, make plans to discuss with your physician at your next scheduled physical.

Keeping a journal of various ongoing symptoms you may be experiencing can assist your physician in mapping out a plan to determine the cause of your ongoing symptoms, and to formulate a treatment plan to get you feeling better.

The American Thyroid Association has resources available to educate and assist you with management of your thyroid disease.