The thyroid is a gland located in the neck, that secretes different hormones. The main hormones that are taken care of by the thyroid are T3 and T4. These help deliver energy to the cells in your body. There are two main conditions that can arise with the thyroid; hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Nearly 30 million Americans have some sort of thyroid disease, most of which are going undiagnosed.
Hypothyroidism is characterized by an under active thyroid gland. The main symptom of hypothyroidism is a slow metabolism, and can also include depression, weight gain, and fatigue. Hypothyroidism can be caused by many things. It can be a genetic disorder, or can be caused by some types of medication. Certain types of infections may even cause hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism on the other hand, is when the gland overproduces the thyroid hormones. This causes an increase of hormone production. Hyperthyroidism also includes an increased heart rate, trouble sleeping, and even infertility. Hyperthyroidism is generally caused by a grown in the thyroid gland. Grave’s disease is generally associated with this thyroid disorder.
Both of these thyroid problems are much more common in women than in men. In fact, a woman has about a one in five chance of having a thyroid issue at some point in their life. Generally, hypothyroidism is seen more frequently than hyperthyroidism. They are also both treatable by medications. If you are concerned that you may have a thyroid problem, consult with your doctor. These can be found by a simple blood test, and easily treated. Make sure that, as with any medication, you make sure that there are not any drug interactions with any prescriptions you may currently be taking.
Thyroid problems are very common. They can generally be easily treated, but if you do have a problem with your thyroid, make sure to have regular check ins with your doctor, as it can become a serious condition.