Thirteen million Americans have a thyroid disorder and many more have not been diagnosed. There are many types of thyroid disorders; the four most common: Hashimotos Disease, Graves’ Disease, Goiter, and Thyroid Nodules.
“The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck below the Adam’s apple. It is part of a complex network of glands called the endocrine system, which is responsible for coordinating many of the body’s activities.
The thyroid gland manufactures hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism (the process of creating and using energy). When the thyroid produces too much (hyperthyroidism) or not enough (hypothyroidism) hormone, several problems can occur.” http://www.healthline.com/
These disorders effect women more than men and are more common as you age or give birth. Hypothyroidism is seen more often than Hyperthyroidism. The thyroid is the regulator of the body’s systems and effects temperature, mood, memory, concentration and it can mimic mental disorders.
Hypothyroidism problems can cause fatigue, sluggishness, cold intolerance, weight gain, constipation, muscle or joint pain, thin and brittle hair or fingernails, reduced sexual drive, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a slow heart rate.
Hyperthyroidism can cause: sudden weight loss, even when your appetite and the amount and type of food you eat remain the same or even increase. Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) — commonly more than 100 beats a minute — irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) or pounding of your heart (palpitations), increased appetite, nervousness, anxiety and irritability, tremor — usually a fine trembling in your hands and fingers, sweating, changes in menstrual patterns, increased sensitivity to heat, changes in bowel patterns, especially more frequent bowel movements, an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), which may appear as a swelling at the base of your neck, fatigue, muscle weakness, difficulty sleeping, skin thinning, fine, brittle hair. (Mayo Clinlic)
If you suspect a thyroid problem, a full thyroid panel should include TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and Thyroid Antibodies. You must request a full panel test because your primary doctor will usually only perform a TSH level. If you have a positive result, you should see an Endocrinologist who will automatically perform the full panel of tests to confirm your diagnosis and recommend treatment. An Endocrinologist can take many months to get into, so call right away.
Sign the Petition: Patients with Thyroid Dysfunction Demand Better Care. http://www.thyroidchange.org/sign-the-patient-petition.html
NOTE: Be careful when searching the internet for thyroid problems and remedies; many sites want to sell books and herbal supplements that may be ineffective or harmful.
The Thyroid and the Mind and Emotions/Thyroid Dysfunction and Mental Disorders