Did you know that January is Thyroid Awareness Month? According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, 50 percent of those with a thyroid disease are unaware that they have it. That represents a large population of people at risk.
What are the possible complications with my thyroid?
The two most common thyroid diseases are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Let’s take a closer look at these two diseases so you can get the information you need.
Hypothyroidism, the most common form of thyroid disease, is when the levels of thyroid hormone in your body drop. That means your body is “slowing down” in production. The signs and symptoms associated with this disease are:
- Difficulty with learning
- Dry, brittle hair, nails and skin
- Weight gain and fluid retention
- Increased sensitivity to many medications
Hyperthyroidism is when you have increased levels of thyroid hormone in your body. That means your thyroid gland is producing too much hormone. This form of the disease occurs in approximately one percent of Americans and tends to affect women five to 10 times more often than men. Hyperthyroidism leads to a goiter, which is an enlargement of the thyroid. The signs and symptoms associated with this form are:
- Increased heart rate
- Becoming anxious, irritable, argumentative
- Weight loss, despite eating the same amount or even more than usual
- Intolerance of warm temperatures and increased likelihood to perspire
- Loss of hair
- Muscle weakness, especially of the upper arms and thighs
- Accelerated loss of calcium from bones, which increases the risk of osteoporosis and fractures
Thyroid disease, if left untreated, can lead to many complications, such as heart disease, infertility and osteoporosis. It has also been linked with autoimmune disorders such as diabetes and anemia. That’s why you need to know if you’re in the 50 percent of those affected but aren’t yet aware that they have a disease.
At Any Lab Test Now, we offer a Thyroid Panel which tests for TSH levels, T4 Total and T3 Uptake. We also offer a variety of Saliva Hormone Tests, as well as a Comprehensive Thyroid Panel.. High or low results of any of these hormone levels will help you and your doctor determine if any further action is needed.