Over 12 million Americans have thyroid problems. The butterfly-shaped gland influences your energy level, appetite, heart rate, bowels, bones, and even women’s menstrual cycles.
Sometimes, you may chalk up certain symptoms — like fatigue and irritability — to “general stress.” But it could be a sign of a thyroid condition that’s gone undiagnosed or mistreated.
The thyroid is a small gland, but it makes hormones affecting every body part. Whether you have too much or too little thyroid hormone, you’ll feel effects ranging from fluid retention and fatigue to temperature intolerances and even menstrual changes.
If you’re gaining weight, this could indicate that your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones. Your doctor will check your TSH levels to see how well your thyroid works and may order other blood tests, such as thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).
A physical exam of your neck is usually the next step. Tip your head back, swallow a glass of water, and look at the area above Adam’s apple and below your collarbone for bulges or protrusions.
Your thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, makes hormones that affect your metabolism, heart rate, bones, hair, menstrual cycles (if you have them), and mood. Unexpected weight loss is one of the most common signs that your thyroid isn’t functioning correctly.
Your Thyroid Specialist Denver, CO runs a thyroid blood test as part of your annual physical. This can help determine if you have functional thyroid disease, but an endocrinologist needs to examine it to know what’s happening with your thyroid.
Your healthcare provider might ultrasound your thyroid to check its size, shape, and any growths (nodules). This involves lying flat on a padded examining table while a warm water-soluble gel is applied to your skin over the thyroid area.
Unusual Eating Habits
While it’s normal to have fluctuations in weight, if you’re suddenly gaining or losing a lot of weight, this could be a sign that your thyroid is no longer working properly. Either your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones (hypothyroidism), or it’s making too many hormones (hyperthyroidism).
If you need to eat frequently, especially when you’re not hungry, this can also indicate that your thyroid is no longer functioning correctly. Your doctor may run a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test to check for a thyroid hormone imbalance, or a thyroid nodule scan may be necessary.
Some thyroid patients seek a 360-degree treatment plan, consulting practitioners like naturopaths and chiropractors, as well as their primary care doctor or endocrinologist. However, it’s important to remember that these practitioners should only be consulted by a physician specializing in endocrinology as an adjunct to your overall care.
The thyroid is part of the endocrine system, which makes hormones to help regulate regular body functions. But it can also produce too much or too little thyroid hormone, which leads to symptoms like weight changes, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, and more.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, a GP may refer you to a specialist immediately. The specialist will ask about your symptoms and examine you, including your neck area. They will do blood tests to check for thyroid hormone levels and see if your blood contains certain proteins called thyroid antibodies.
Finding the right healthcare provider to treat your thyroid disease is a personal decision. It would help if you found a doctor to build a trusting, compassionate partnership with.
The thyroid gland is located in the front of your neck. If you see any lumps or nodules, it’s a good idea to talk to a thyroid specialist because these could be signs that something is wrong with your thyroid.
The thyroid hormones affect everything from your heart rate to your bowel movements, cholesterol levels, and hair growth. Too much or too little of these hormones will cause different symptoms, such as fatigue and weight gain.
It’s easy to ignore symptoms like fatigue, irritability, and sleep problems, chalking them up to stress or age. But over time, left untreated, these conditions can have long-term, debilitating effects on the body. A thyroid specialist will be able to diagnose the problem and offer treatment options that will alleviate your symptoms.
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