How is your thyroid functioning?

January is National Thyroid Awareness Month, so it is a great time to learn about your thyroid and how to keep your thyroid levels at an optimal level. Did you know that 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease; however, 60% of those Americans are unsuspecting of having a thyroid disease?

Our Health and Wellness Lead RN, Lauren King mentions that “Thyroid disease can affect many different populations. It’s important to understand how your thyroid shapes your overall health and to talk with a doctor about the best way for you to maintain your thyroid health”. You are in the right place to learn more about your thyroid and how to get ahead of a thyroid disease!

Your thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland that is in the lower front of your neck. Your thyroid has an “incredibly important job in your body – it releases hormones that control your metabolism. This influences your energy levels and affects many systems throughout the body” says Lauren King. More simply, the thyroid can affect your heart rate, breathing, weight, digestion, and even your mood.

Most problems that stem from your thyroid is when your thyroid is underactive, or not producing enough hormones or overactive, or producing too many hormones.

Some symptoms of an overactive thyroid could be:

  • Racing heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Weight loss with increased appetite
  • Heat intolerance / excessive sweating
  • Muscle weakness

Some symptoms of an underactive thyroid could be:

  • Fatigue / sluggishness mentally and physically
  • Cold intolerance
  • Constipation
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Depression

When it comes to your thyroid and bringing awareness to thyroid disease, such as thyroid cancer, women are more likely than men to experience problems. Thyroid diseases are life-long so it is important for you to seek medical attention and continue to get annual checkups to make sure your thyroid hormones are at optimal levels! When diagnosed with thyroid cancer, there are no early symptoms; however, as the cancer progresses, a nodule or a lump might appear in your neck, your lymph glands can become swollen, you might experience changes in your voice, and you could have trouble swallowing properly according to The Surgical Clinic.

Thyroid diseases can be treatable when diagnosed. When diagnosing, your doctor will use your medical history, a physical exam, and specialized blood tests to help determine your thyroid health. Specifically, the blood tests will examine the amount of thyroid-stimulating hormone also known as TSH. A doctor will be able to tell whether you are showing signs of a thyroid disorder, more specifically an underactive or overactive thyroid based on the results of their exam and the blood tests. Medications and surgery (only in some cases) can be treatments, but it depends on what thyroid condition you are experiencing.

If you want to check how your thyroid is functioning, check out 365 Health’s Blood Chemistry Screening and schedule lab work with Quest or at an upcoming Health Fair!

365 Health strives to advance health awareness in Colorado, providing people with the tools they need to take responsibility for their own health. We do this through community Health Fairs, affordable health screenings, Health in Hand (our telehealth service), vaccination clinics, and much more! Learn more about our history and what we do HERE.