At least 27 million Americans have a thyroid problem, but don’t know it yet. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck and it is the regulator of your metabolism. When your thyroid doesn’t function properly, it can affect every aspect of your health including weight, depression and energy levels. Hypothyroidism — an underactive thyroid — is the most common thyroid condition, and is more common in women, affecting as many as one in five.
Undiagnosed hypothyroidism can significantly increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, and depression, so it is important to pay attention to the signs that may point to a thyroid condition. You don’t need to have all of these symptoms in order to have a thyroid problem, but here are 8 of the most common signs to look for.
1. Difficulty Losing Weight or Weight Fluctuations.
You may be dieting and exercising, but are failing to lose any weight, or even gaining. Difficulty losing weight can be a sign of hypothyroidism. Or are you gaining weight, but eating and working out the same as always, or losing weight, and eating the same amount of food as usual? Weight changes — up or down — can be signs of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
2. Family History.
You are at higher risk of having a thyroid condition yourself if you have a family history of thyroid problems.
If you are tired when you wake up, feeling as if 8 or 10 hours of sleep a night isn’t enough, or if you can’t function a full day without a nap, these may all be signs of both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
4. Depression and Anxiety.
Depression or anxiety, including sudden onset of panic disorder, can be symptoms of thyroid disease. Hypothyroidism is most typically associated with depression, while hyperthyroidism is more commonly associated with anxiety or panic attacks. Depression that does not respond to anti-depressants may also be a sign of an undiagnosed thyroid disorder.
5. Neck Discomfort/Enlargement.
A feeling of swelling in the neck, discomfort with turtlenecks or neckties, a hoarse voice, or a visibly enlarged thyroid can all be symptoms of thyroid disease. To find out if the thyroid is enlarged, you can take a simple test at home. Hold a mirror so that you can see the area of your neck just below the Adam’s apple and right above the collarbone. Tip your head back, while keeping this view of your neck and thyroid area in your mirror. Take a drink of water and swallow. As you swallow, look at your neck. Watch carefully for any bulges, enlargement, protrusions, or unusual appearances in this area when you swallow, and if you see anything unusual, see your doctor right away.
Hair and skin changes are noticeable signs of a possible thyroid problem. With hypothyroidism, hair frequently becomes coarse and dry, and falls out easily. Skin can become coarse, thick, dry, and scaly. In hypothyroidism, it is common to lose hair in the outer edge of the eyebrow. With hyperthyroidism, severe hair loss can also occur, and skin can become fragile and thin.
7. Bowel Problems.
Severe constipation is frequently associated with hypothyroidism, while diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome is associated with hyperthyroidism.
8. Menstrual Irregularities and Fertility Problems.
Heavier, and more frequent and painful periods are frequently associated with hypothyroidism, and shorter, lighter, or infrequent menstruation can be associated with hyperthyroidism. Infertility can also be associated with undiagnosed thyroid.
You don’t have to have all of these symptoms to have a thyroid problem. If you believe you may have a thyroid condition, you should see your physician for treatment options.
In additional, there are alternative therapies for thyroid support. Thyroid Essentials is a natural supplement formulated to provide relief for low thyroid conditions. The ingredients naturally support the body’s ability to improve and normalize thyroid function. For more information on Healthy Choice Naturals Thyroid Essentials
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