According to The American Thyroid Association (ATA), 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease. What’s more, 60 percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition.  

Check out these fascinating facts to learn more about the Thyroid gland and how it affects your health. 

The Thyroid gland 

  • Location: The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ situated at the bottom of the throat.  
  • Function: It produces hormones that help regulate metabolism, heart rate and body temperature.  
  • Hormones:  
  • Triiodothyronine (T3)  
  • Thyroxine (T4) 
  • Calcitonin (produced by C-cells of the thyroid gland) 

The thyroid gland produces these hormones from iodine and tyrosine. Iodine is an element found in certain foods; tyrosine is an amino acid found in proteins.  

  • Regulation: The pituitary gland (in your brain) regulates the production of hormones by sending out thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). 

 

Thyroid disorders include: 

  • Goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland) 
  • Hyperthyroidism (when your thyroid gland makes more hormones than your body needs) 
  • Hypothyroidism (when your thyroid gland does not make enough hormones) 
  • Thyroid cancer 
  • Thyroid nodules (lumps in the thyroid) 
  • Thyroiditis (inflammation and swelling of the thyroid) 

 

Are you at risk? 

Women are five times more likely to be diagnosed with a thyroid condition than men. 

You have a higher chance of developing thyroid disease if you: 

  • Are a female. 
  • Are older than 60 (especially women). 
  • Have a family history of thyroid disease. 
  • Have a medical condition (like pernicious anemia, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, primary adrenal insufficiency, lupus, and Sjögren’s syndrome). 
  • Take medications that are high in iodine (amiodarone). 
  • Have had treatment for a thyroid condition or cancer (thyroidectomy or radiation). 

Common symptoms of thyroid disease 

Thyroid diseases can be divided into two broad groups — 

  • those related to excess production of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism).  
  • those related to too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism). 

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism/overactive thyroid include: 

  • Anxiety, irritability, and nervousness. 
  • Weight loss. 
  • Having trouble sleeping. 
  • Muscle weakness and tremors. 
  • Sweating. 
  • Irregular heartbeats and palpitations. 
  • Enlarged thyroid gland or goiter. 
  • Irregular or no periods. 
  • Feeling sensitive to heat. 
  • Vision problems. 

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism/underactive thyroid include: 

  • Fatigue. 
  • Gaining weight. 
  • Forgetfulness/ Memory issues. 
  • Frequent and heavy menstrual periods. 
  • Dry and coarse hair with excessive hair fall. 
  • Hoarse voice. 
  • Intolerance to cold. 
  • Constipation. 
  • Decreased sex drive.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are concerned about it, talk to your healthcare provider. Or call us @ 718-DORAL-55.