About 20 million Americans suffer from thyroid-related health problems, including hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). What’s more, as many as 60% of those with thyroid problems are undiagnosed.
Located at the base of your neck, your thyroid gland produces and releases hormones that are essential for metabolism, temperature regulation, and other key bodily functions. Thyroid disease can cause a host of symptoms that can be easily confused with other health issues or ignored as “just part of getting older.”
At Central Clinic in Spring Hill, Florida, Poonam Malhotra, MD, and her team want men and women to learn how to recognize the subtle symptoms that can occur with both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, so they can get treatment as early as possible. Here’s what to look for.
Hypothyroidism happens when your thyroid produces and distributes fewer hormones than usual. About 4.6% of Americans have this type of thyroid disease.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism can vary significantly depending on the amount of hormones the gland produces. Many symptoms are directly associated with the slower metabolism that occurs due to hypothyroidism. Below are the most common symptoms associated with an underactive thyroid:
Weight gain and fatigue are often the first symptoms to be noticed. But because these changes are often associated with older age, many older patients ignore these symptoms, delaying important medical care.
Hyperthyroidism is less common than hypothyroidism, affecting about 1.2% of Americans. If you have an overactive thyroid, the gland produces more hormones than your body can use. Hyperthyroidism ramps up your metabolism.
Like hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism can cause widespread symptoms that can vary in intensity. Below are the most common symptoms associated with an overactive thyroid:
While hypothyroidism tends to be more common among older men and women, hyperthyroidism occurs more often among younger people. Both diseases tend to be more common in women than in men.
Thyroid disease can affect your health in a lot of ways. But the good news is that a simple blood test is all it takes to screen for thyroid problems, so you can get care as early as possible.
Thyroid screenings check for the levels of the hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). If the test shows that there is an overproduction or underproduction of these key chemicals, Dr. Malhotra can discuss your treatment options, which could include medications.
If you’re having symptoms associated with thyroid disease, book an appointment online or over the phone with Central Clinic today.