What is the Thyroid?
The thyroid is a gland located in the neck that manages the body’s metabolism and creates new proteins. Many people are not familiar with the thyroid’s purpose, but it essentially affects almost every organ. Additionally, the thyroid is responsible for regulating skin integrity, menstrual cycles, calcium levels, and the nervous system, as well as the heart and cholesterol levels. Your thyroid also affects brain development, body temperature, respiration, metabolism, and fat production. Difficulties with the thyroid occur when the thyroid gland produces too much, or not enough, hormone.
Thyroid Illnesses & Symptoms
There are various illnesses related to the thyroid, such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease, and thyroid cancer. Many symptoms associated with thyroid-related problems include fatigue/sluggishness, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, pale or dry skin, a puffy face, brittle nails, hair loss, enlargement of the tongue, unexplained weight gain or loss, joint pain, muscle aches/weakness, excessive menstrual bleeding, depression, and memory lapses. After looking at the various symptoms one could experience with this disease, it is evident that it affects the entire body in different ways, making it extremely important to be checked often.
Treatment Options for Thyroid Diseases
Treatment options are available for individuals who suffer from thyroid diseases. Hormone replacement medications are the primary form of treatment currently. Diagnosis is based on symptoms and blood work results detecting the amount of TSH and sometimes the level of the thyroid hormone thyroxine.
It’s a new year and time for a new, fresh start. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and suspect that you may have a thyroid-related disease, consult your primary care physician and determine whether or not you may need treatment. Make your health a priority this year, and stay on top of your regular checkups with your doctor. Here’s to 2021!