When it comes down to your overall health, the thyroid gland influences it all – from your skin to your mood. In fact, low levels of thyroid hormones can increase your risk of heart disease.
For a gland just two inches in size, the thyroid is one of the most vital organs in the body that forms the endocrine system. This master metabolic control system produces two very important hormones. These hormones are responsible for a myriad of functions such as regulating heart rate, skin maintenance, assisting in digestion, fertility and even regulates body temperature.
But when the thyroid makes either too much or very little of these crucial hormones, things might get worse. Although it is unlikely that someone would die out of a thyroid-related disease, however, if you haven’t had a thyroid test lately, it’s time to call your doctor.
Why thyroid health matters?
As said, the thyroid is responsible to regulate our metabolism. Additionally, it works in conjunction with the pituitary gland to help regulate brain and nerve functions and their development.
Apart from this, the gland impacts a host of other body functions, which is why if you haven’t had a thyroid test lately, it’s time to call your doctor.
Thyroid health tends to be an underrated topic, but despite being small, its improper function will have massive implications on your body. While thyroid disease has many forms, one of the most common form is Hashimoto’s Disease. This autoimmune condition attacks the thyroid gland and diminishes its ability to produce the essential hormones.
In fact, Hashimoto’s Disease is the leading cause of Hypothyroidism in Australia, affecting around 1 in 33 Australians.
What are the common types of Thyroid Diseases?
Thyroid disease is the general medical term used that keeps the thyroid gland from making the right amount of hormones. The two endocrine hormones – T4 and T3 tells the body’s cells how much energy to use.
When the thyroid functions healthy, it will maintain the right amount of hormones to keep your metabolism working at the right rate.
Hyperthyroidism: When the thyroid produces too much T3 and T4 hormones, it causes a medical condition that uses energy very quickly. It leads to causing persistent tiredness and unexplained weight loss even when not trying to.
Hypothyroidism: On the flip-side, when the gland produces lesser hormones, it causes hypothyroidism that has similar effects on your body, but increased weight gain and might leave you very sensitive to cold temperature.
What are the symptoms of an unhealthy thyroid?
While it is unlikely that someone will die of thyroid disease, the downside of this disease is that most patients do not experience any significant symptoms. Often they are diagnosed when treating for other diseases.
However, a wide range of signs and symptoms could tell that your thyroid function needs a medical test:
- Increased sensitivity to cold and hot temperature
- Facing vision problems and irritable eyes
- Muscles aches, tenderness and stiffness
- Experiencing nervousness and irritability
- Feeling of depression and anxiety
- Elevated blood cholesterol level
- Felling of tiredness
- Slowed heartbeat
- Impaired memory
Who are at risk of developing a thyroid disease?
If you’re concerned about your risk of developing thyroid disease, there are two main factors; age and gender.
Women of all ages are more likely to develop thyroid disease than man. However, it might be also possible that many of their symptoms might be attributed to other disease or written off as a consequence of aging.
Apart from age and gender, you may need a thyroid test if:
- As part of cancer treatment you have received radiation in your neck
- In your family exists a history of thyroid disease or any autoimmune disease
- For treatment of hyperthyroidism or thyroid cancer you have taken anti-thyroid medications
- You have had neck surgery
When to see a doctor for thyroid health?
You should consult a doctor if you’re feeling tired for no reason. Additionally, if you notice any symptoms of unexplained weight gain or loss or have any other thyroid disease symptoms such as dry skin or impaired memory.