Ask anyone what their heart, lungs or stomach are – and where they’re located in the body – and you get an immediate answer. If you ask what - and where - the thyroid is, things get less clear.
This is a shame since the thyroid is one of the most important glands in the body.
The thyroid gland lives near the front surface of the lower neck, just below the Adam’s apple. It’s shaped like an H, with two separate lobes that are each about 5 cm long and 3 cm wide. Thyroid hormone is used by every single one of your cells, so when thyroid function is compromised, so is your health.
Simply put, the thyroid is either directly or indirectly involved in just about every single function of the body. Also important to know is that according to the , thyroid disease is more common in the U.S. than both heart disease and diabetes.
If you’re honest about how you’re feeling and any unusual symptoms you’re experiencing, odds are your doctor will catch any signs of thyroid disease tools. Never hide anything from your doctor.
When the thyroid malfunctions, it’s typically the result of one of these three diseases:
If the thyroid becomes overactive, it goes into overdrive and continues producing thyroid hormone – even when the body has had enough. This speeds up all of the body’s general functions, including metabolism. So, it’s no wonder that the symptoms of hyperthyroidism include a feeling like you’re always going 100 mph, as well as:
On the opposite end of the spectrum is hypothyroidism, where the thyroid is sluggish and doesn’t produce the level of thyroid hormone your body needs. Women are more likely to develop hypothyroidism and other thyroid disorders, particularly postpartum.
Symptoms of an underactive thyroid include:
Also called Hashimoto’s syndrome, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland. The inflamed thyroid becomes underactive, and so many of the symptoms of Hashimoto’s are the same as those for hypothyroidism, with the addition of:
Instances of have increased exponentially since 1975. However, the increased diagnoses are more related to improved diagnostic imaging and overall awareness than anything else. The good news is that death rates related to thyroid cancer are fairly low compared with other forms of cancer, and most incidences of thyroid cancer are treatable.
The most common symptom of thyroid cancer is a visible lump in the neck, the result of the cancerous growth.
The main risks for developing thyroid disease, including cancer, are a family history of thyroid cancer, taking certain prescription medicines (Lithium or Amiodarone), or radiation exposure.
Read, , all of which help to improve thyroid function as well.
Experiencing symptoms related to thyroid disease? Contact us here at , and we’ll see if we can save you a trip to the city.
Published on September 26, 2018