Talked a little about genetic conditions last week and I’m pretty sure I mentioned thyroid problems running in my family so I’m going to talk about that.

The thyroid is a gland in your neck. It produces hormones to regulate the body’s metabolic process including the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and body weight. So you can already kind of see how having problems with your thyroid can impact your daily life.

Typically, if you have problems with your thyroid, it’s one of three main issues: hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and thyroid cancer. Hyperthyroidism creates too much thyroid hormone and hypothyroidism means there’s not enough. Too much and you could experience too much weight loss, antsy behavior, fast heart rate, and be unable to tolerate the heat. Hypothyroidism is pretty much the opposite; it can result in dry skin, weight gain, thinning hair, poor memory, depression, fatigue, and being sensitive to the cold. Because these symptoms are more common than the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism can be a little harder to detect.

Lastly, thyroid cancer is just as it sounds—cancer in your thyroid gland. It’s more common in women than men and is most often discovered when the inflicted individual is in their fifties. However, thyroid cancer can usually be treated successfully.

Other thyroid problems do exist (nodules, inflamed thyroids, etc.), but the three mentioned above are the most common.

Because the thyroid glands play a big role in functioning normally in our daily lives, it’s important to talk to your doctor if you think something may be wrong. Your doctor may recommend a blood test to check that your thyroid is producing the appropriate amount of hormones. Issues that come up may be treated in several ways including medication or surgery. Thyroid problems can be treated fairly easily and with little discomfort to your daily routine but it is still very important to manage them.

Info: Health Direct: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/thyroid-gland

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/thyroid-problems

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