The thyroid gland is located in front of the neck. It looks sort of like a butterfly or a bow tie. The thyroid is important in many ways for keeping your body healthy. It sends out certain hormones that help control many activities in the body, such as breathing and pumping blood. It helps control weight and is also involved in other functions. According to the American Thyroid Association, there are an estimated 20 million Americans that have a thyroid problem or thyroid disease. Many people are not even aware that it’s linked to the symptoms they are experiencing. Not only does a thyroid problem increase the risk of obesity, depression, anxiety, infertility, and heart disease, it usually is one of the last things the doctor takes a closer look at to help diagnose your symptoms.
The most common sign of a thyroid problem is feeling tired or fatigued even if you are getting plenty of sleep. Weight gain or weight loss without any diet changes is another common sign of a thyroid issue called hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, which means under or overactive thyroid.
Family history can play a role in thyroid problems as well. Other symptoms include not being able to control high cholesterol even with medications and discomfort in your neck area, which are all concerns that should be addressed. Thyroid ultrasound is an excellent assessment screening tool. The thyroid ultrasound screening will determine if any nodules are present, their size and if they are fluid-filled (cyst) or solid.
What are the symptoms of Thyroid Disease?
- Intolerance to cold
- Muscle aches and cramps
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Poor appetite
- Goiter (enlarged thyroid gland)
- Female sex
- Age ( thyroid nodules are more common in older people)
- One or both parents with thyroid nodules
- Iodine deficiency (can lead to goiter with or without nodules)