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What Everyone Should Know About Thyroid Health

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Did you know that 12% of people in America are expected to develop a thyroid condition at some point in their life? January is Thyroid Awareness Month and we’re shedding light on the health disorders commonly associated with the thyroid. Currently, about 20 million people in the U.S. have some type of thyroid disease, however up to 60% of those individuals do not know yet. This is why it’s important to understand your risk of thyroid disease and all you can do to stay ahead of it.

What is a thyroid and how does it work?

Your thyroid is a small hormone gland in the neck, just below your chin, that is primary responsible for managing how fast your metabolism works. Your metabolism is the process in which the body converts the food you consume into energy. The thyroid gland also releases key hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), that let the body’s cells know how much energy should be used. Your metabolic rate will run at the right pace when everything is working properly and a healthy balance of hormones is maintained.

Two common types of thyroid disease include hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, which are brought on by other conditions that affect the thyroid gland’s ability to work.

Thyroid warning signs to look out for.

Symptoms of thyroid disorders can greatly vary due to if the thyroid is underproducing (hypothyroidism) or overproducing (hyperthyroidism) hormones.

Individuals who produce a low amount of hormones can experience symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness
  • Weight gain
  • Heavy and frequent menstrual cycles
  • Hoarse voice
  • Coarse and dry hair
  • Unable to tolerate cold temperatures

Individuals who produce a high amount of hormones can experience symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Weight loss
  • Increased anxiety
  • Enlarged thyroid gland
  • Tremors or weak muscles
  • Irregular patterns in menstrual cycles
  • Vision difficulty or eye irritability
  • Heat sensitivity

What you can do about thyroid health.

If thyroid conditions are left untreated, this can lead to the development of serious health conditions such as Graves’ disease, thyroid cancer, osteoporosis, infertility, heart diseases. Many individuals are unable to detect their thyroid condition as the symptoms can commonly be mixed up with another illness. The best way to determine if you have a thyroid disorder is to regularly visit with your primary care provider, who can do a further evaluation through imaging, blood tests or a physical to better assess your health.

To learn more about your options for primary care in Plano, McKinney, or Frisco, TX please schedule an appointment by texting your preferred location below:

  • West Plano Medical Village: Text (469) 382-4891
  • Independence Medical Village: Text (469) 382-3548
  • McKinney Medical Village: Text (469) 382-3717
  • Frisco Medical Village: Text (469) 382-3415

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* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.