The butterfly-shaped thyroid gland is the largest gland in the neck. Located in the front of the neck, the gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism and many other important bodily functions.
The thyroid gland is an essential part of the human body; it is responsible for regulation of the body's energy, use of hormones/vitamins and the growth of body tissues. When the thyroid fails to work effectively, the body begins to feels weak and the patient will feel the following symptoms.
Thyroid problems indicate either an overproduction or underproduction of the thyroid hormones and manifest in thyroid enlargement, nodules that may further grow into cancerous tumours in the future. The following signs are indicative of these medical conditions.
Weight changes – Experiencing unexplained weight loss or weight gain could be a symptom of a thyroid disease.
Stress, depression and anxiety – If you are stressed or struggling with depression or anxiety, you may be suffering from a thyroid problem. Signs of stress and depression go hand in hand with thyroid diseases.
Brittle nails, dry hair and skin – You may have a thyroid problem if you have brittle nails, dry skin and hair. Hair loss and hair breakage are frequently associated with thyroid problems. Those with underactive thyroid may have hair that is brittle, coarse and dry. The skin will become coarse, thick, dry and scaly and may also become fragile and thin. In hypothyroidism, a person may experience an unusual loss of hair on the outer edges of the eyebrow.
Metabolic problems – Irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and metabolic problems are potential symptoms of thyroid conditions.
Lethargy – If you feel tired often or feel weakness of any kind you may have a thyroid disease.
Feeling extremely cold or warm – Both hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism can make one feel excessively cold or warm.
Joint pain – Aches and pains in the muscles and joints and a tendency to develop carpal tunnel syndrome in the arms/hands and plantar fasciitis in the feet can be a sign of thyroid problems.
Menstrual irregularities – Women with irregular menstrual periods can have thyroid problems. Heavy menstruation is indicative of hypothyroidism, and shorter or lighter ones can be associated with hyperthyroidism.
Other problems – Rapid or irregular heartbeat, nervousness, irregular menstruation cycles, sensitivity to heat, abnormal perspiration, irritability, tremors, goitre (enlarged thyroid gland), sleep difficulties and increased appetite are among other signs of thyroid problems.
If thyroid problems are ignored or go untreated, they will harm the body in several ways. Thyroid diseases in their advanced stages can damage the heart and other vital organs. When you notice or experience the above symptoms, seek medical attention as soon as possible. You may not have all of these symptoms, but the presence of some can indicate a thyroid problem.
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