To understand the signs of this medical condition, we firstly need to know, 'What is thyroid?' Thyroid is basically a small, butterfly-shaped gland, located in the front of your neck. Its main function is to produce thyroid hormones to make your body use energy. These thyroid hormones include Triiodothyronine (T3) and Tetraiodothyronine or thyroxine. These hormones give energy to the body for many functions. The lifestyle disorder is of two types, called hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. VINEET KUMAR SURANA, Consultant - Diabetes And Endocrinology, HCMCT Manipal Hospital, Dwarka, about signs that show you need to get a thyroid test.
Thyroid glands are responsible for managing the metabolic processes of the body. For hyperthyroid or hypothyroid, it is important for an individual to take care of a few lifestyle factors including diet and daily physical activity. If you are aware about the early warning signs of thyroid, it can get easier to diagnose and control the medical condition timely. This disorder should not be ignored and it is important to get your thyroid levels checked, if experiencing any symptoms. Read on to know more about it.
Signs you need to get a thyroid test
The thyroid produces hormones that play a major role in managing energy, growth, and metabolism in your body. When the thyroid levels go too high or too low, several problems can occur, therefore it becomes important to get it checked. If you are experiencing any of the below listed signs or symptoms, you should get a thyroid test immediately.
1. Weight changes
A drastic and unexplained change in your weight is one of the primary and common signs od hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). In hyperthyroidism, your thyroid gland produces excessive thyroxine hormone which results in your body’s metabolism to overwork, leading to weight loss. On the other hand, in hypothyroidism, your body is not able to produce enough thyroxine which leads to slow metabolic processes, thus causing weight gain.
Hyperthyroidism can make you feel extremely tired. It can even get difficult to sleep at night, which ultimately results in fatigue. The deficiency of thyroxine in hypothyroidism can make your body lose all of its energy. In addition, with both of these thyroid conditions, there is a high chance that you will experience muscle weakness which can cause your body to feel tired all the time.
3. Hair loss
As your hair keep growing, you will start losing some strands and your should care much if there are is a normal amount of hair loss. However, if you see that your hair is becoming extremely thinner than earlier, it is time to talk to the doctor and get a thyroid test. You should pay close attention to how much hair strands you are losing in a day while brushing or combing them.
Mood swings or irritability is one of the most common symptoms of thyroid problems. However, do not mistaken to assume its thyroid just because you are having a bad day. Too much nervousness, anxiety and mood changes can be assessed and reported to the doctor. You can get tested if the doctor observes any other signs of hypothyroid or hyperthyroid.
Medically named goiter, these are growths on the neck, also known as a symptom of extreme thyroid condition. These thyroid nodules are caused by a swollen thyroid gland. They can also be the result of a growth that has attached itself to the thyroid. If you notice a growth or bulge in your neck, you should contact a doctor right away to have it checked.
6. Irregular periods
For women, thyroid problems can have an impact on their period cycle and fertility. This mostly happens with patients of hypothyroidism, as not producing enough thyroxine can make it difficult for your body to release eggs that are required for ovulation, affecting a woman’s overall fertility. And, women who have hypothyroidism are at a higher risk for issues during pregnancy such as preeclampsia and miscarriage.
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