A small gland in the front of your neck controls more of your body than you may think. When this gland, the thyroid, isn’t functioning properly, you may see quite a few symptoms and they may not point to thyroid disease until you are tested. However, there are some people who should be checked for thyroid disease more often than others.
How is Thyroid Disease Confirmed?
The only way to confirm thyroid disease is through a series of blood tests. The two tests performed most often are the T4 and the TSH. If the levels of T4 are too high, it indicates hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid. The TSH test checks the level of hormones that stimulate the thyroid. If your thyroid isn’t being stimulated to produce proper amounts of its own hormones, it may not be functioning properly.
Signs of Hypothyroid
Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid isn’t active enough and you are missing out on the hormones it produces. If you have noticed unexplained weight gain along with brittle hair and nails, you may be experiencing the physical symptoms of hypothyroidism and thyroid disease. Fatigue, depression, as well as memory loss can be signs as well.
Signs of Hyperthyroid
While hypothyroidism causes weight gain, hyperthyroidism can cause weight loss. While you may be enjoying the new numbers on the scale, if you have no reason to be losing weight it may be due to an overactive thyroid. You may also feel anxiety, experience diarrhea, or have tremors. As you can imagine, all of these symptoms could be caused by other problems, which is why thyroid disease is not often diagnosed right away.
Who Needs Routine Checks?
Those who have no explanation for experiencing the symptoms above, should be checked. If it is normal, or even just slightly elevated, but your symptoms don’t go away, then a routine check for thyroid disease is warranted. If there is a history of thyroid problems in your family, you should bring this up to your doctor, so you can be checked regularly. Also, some medications can affect the thyroid. If you are on any of them that will require regular thyroid blood tests, your doctor will let you know.
Thyroid disease can be managed quite effectively with proper medications that either slow down or speed up the thyroid depending on whether you have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. If you feel you should be checked for thyroid disease, be sure to schedule an appointment at Clinica Las Americas. We can make sure your thyroid is right on track.