The thyroid can dramatically impact a huge variety of bodily functions, and if you’re a woman over 35 your odds of a thyroid disorder are high—more than 30 percent, by some estimates. Women are up to 10 times as likely as men to have a thyroid problem.
Over 30 million Americans have a thyroid disorder and half of them are silent sufferers who go undiagnosed, according to The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
Your thyroid regulates your body’s temperature, metabolism, and heartbeat, among other things. When your thyroid isn’t functioning properly, other things can start to go wrong.
Experts aren’t entirely sure what causes an under- or over-active thyroid. Even diagnosing thryroid disorder is challenging since thyroid hormones reach all the way from the brain to the bowels.
Here are some tips on how to tell if your thyroid could be on the fritz.
- Feeling down
- Feeling jittery and anxious
- Appetite or taste buds are altered
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of interest in sex
- Heart palpitations
- Dry skin
- Unpredictable bowels
- Changes in menstrual periods
- Painful limbs or muscles
- High blood pressure
- Feeling cold or having chills/feeling too warm or sweating profusely
- Hoarse voice
- Sleep schedule seems messed up (sleeping too much/experiencing insomnia)
- Weight Gain/weight loss
- Dry or thinning hair
- Difficulty getting pregnant
- Persistent high cholesterol
Getting your thyroid tested
If you have one or more of these symptoms and suspect it’s your thyroid, make an appointment to come in and get checked out. Based on test results, your symptoms, and your physical exam, you may need to take synthetic hormones.
Treating a thyroid disorder with synthetic hormones can take more than one visit to get the dosage right, so be patient.
Most physical exams include a perfunctory check of your thyroid, but that’s not enough if you suspect you may have thyroid problems. You have to be your own advocate when it comes to your thyroid.
Fortunately, many thyroid disorders fall into a range that can be treated. While the various effects of thyroid dysfunction can be unpleasant or uncomfortable, most thyroid problems can be managed well if properly diagnosed and treated.
There are many tests we use at to identify and treat a thyroid problem. These tests include blood-work, imaging tests such as a Neck Ultrasound, nuclear medicine tests, and sometimes Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) biopsies.
At Accent MD we have doctors who treat the person—not just the lab tests.
Because there are often multiple issues, it is best to be well prepared for your appointment. Here’s some information to help you prepare and get the most from your appointment.