January is Thyroid Awareness Month
What is the Thyroid?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck, and while it may be small, it produces a hormone that supports the function of your body’s most important organs.
What Do I Need to Know About Thyroid Disease?
According to the American Thyroid Association, diseases of the thyroid affect approximately 20 million Americans, and nearly 60 percent of them are unaware they have a thyroid condition.
The symptoms of thyroid disease include weight fluctuations, pronounced mood changes or difficulty sleeping. While each of these symptoms may be frustrating and potentially mild on their own, taken together, these symptoms can drastically affect a person’s quality of life.
Further, because the thyroid produces a hormone that affects the function of every organ in the body, untreated thyroid disease can lead to more serious conditions, including cardiovascular disease, infertility problems and osteoporosis.
Thyroid Disease Symptoms
Symptoms of thyroid disease can vary from person to person. They also vary depending on whether your thyroid is overactive or underactive. Some common symptoms of thyroid disease include:
- Increased anxiety, irritability or nervousness
- Weight fluctuations
- Muscle weakness
- Vision problems or eye irritation
- Fluctuations in menstrual cycle frequency and heaviness
What Should I Do?
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, you may be suffering from an irregular thyroid. Proper diagnosis is the first step to living a happier, healthier life, so discussing your symptoms with your primary care provider is vital.
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinology (AACE) provides a list of ten questions that can help you navigate this important conversation with your doctor: http://www.thyroidawareness.com/ten_questions_to_ask_about_your_thyroid_health.
Thyroid Disease Fast Facts*
- The causes of thyroid problems are largely unknown.
- Pregnant women with undertreated hypothyroidism have an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery and severe developmental problems in their children.
- While most thyroid diseases are life-long conditions, most are also manageable with medical attention.
* According to AACE: https//www.thyroid.org/media-main/press-room
If you are experiencing the symptoms of this disease, Southeast Perinatal Associates can help diagnose and treat your thyroid condition. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.