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Thyroid Disease: The Catch-all

Ashley January 8, 2014 Men's Health, Miscellaneous health topics, Thyroid Screens, Women's Health Comments Off on Thyroid Disease: The Catch-all
Thyroid Disease: The Catch-all

Almost 30 million Americans suffer from some type of thyroid disorder; however, about half remain undiagnosed, because they associate their vague symptoms with something else. By regulating the body’s metabolism, the thyroid plays a key role in keeping us energized and healthy. Unfortunately, when this important gland functions abnormally, serious problems can result.

There are several different reasons why a person might experience thyroid dysfunction. That said, the symptoms are generally the same, depending on whether the person is suffering from hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism

With hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland produces more hormones than the body actually needs. At first, people may not notice their symptoms or may associate them with other potential causes. Over time, however, because hyperthyroidism produces an overactive metabolism, the following symptoms tend to occur:

  • Unexplained weight loss, even without dietary changes
  • An unusually strong appetite
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat
  • Irritability and/or anxiety
  • Insomnia or frequent waking
  • Trembling of the fingers or hands
  • Increased sweating
  • Muscle weakness
  • Noticeable sensitivity to heat
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Infrequent menstrual periods and/or light menstrual flow

Hypothyroidism

With hypothyroidism, a thyroid gland becomes underactive, causing the body’s metabolism to slow. In time, sufferers may begin to notice some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Unexplained weight gain, even without dietary changes
  • Noticeable sensitivity to cold
  • Muscle weakness
  • Constipation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Depression
  • Feeling rundown or fatigued
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Dry, pale skin
  • Swollen or puffy-looking face
  • Hoarseness
  • Increased menstrual bleeding

Getting Tested

Besides causing a myriad of unpleasant symptoms that can make life intolerable, thyroid problems can also have serious health effects that can lead to death. Many people with hypothyroidism also maintain high blood levels of LDL cholesterol, the so-called “bad” cholesterol, which significantly increases the risk of heart disease.

Sadly, as thyroid symptoms develop over years, many people blame their weight problems, sluggishness and moodiness on tough schedules, certain lifestyle habits or simply aging. By getting an Ultimate Thyroid Function Panel, you can quickly and conveniently determine whether or not your thyroid gland is functioning normally. Not only can this information put you on the path toward a healthier, happy life; it could actually save your life by alerting you to potentially serious health problems, such as cancer, Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s disease – all of which play a role in compromising thyroid function. Visit the HealthCheckUSA website to learn more about getting your thyroid tested.

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