We don’t think much about the thyroid… and we really should.
Especially considering that this non-descript little gland located in your neck produces hormones that regulate energy metabolism, control protein synthesis and adjust your body’s sensitivity to other hormones.
With all these critical functions, it makes sense your thyroid should get more attention — and care. But, unfortunately, problems seem to be on the rise…
According to the American Thyroid Association, nearly 60 million Americans, mostly women, have some type of thyroid problem. As a result, they may experience anxiety, achiness, weakness, unexplained weight fluctuations and other issues. As you can see, these symptoms are mostly non-specific. They could be caused by any number of conditions, or simply be a part of normal life. However, it’s important to be alert to thyroid problems, which can increase the risk for heart disease, infertility, depression and other serious conditions.
What can go wrong
Thyroid conditions fall into three categories: hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and autoimmune disorders. The most common form is hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid, which can lead to weight gain, fatigue and an excessively slow heart rate. Hyperthyroidism is the opposite, an overactive thyroid. However, the gland can’t maintain that pace and burns out over time, leading us back to hypothyroidism. As you can guess, mood swings can be a big part of this condition. Autoimmune disorders, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, can have a similar effect to hyperthyroidism—over activity followed by under activity.
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