The thyroid is an often-overlooked organ in the human body. This shouldn’t be the case. You may not know about it, but the thyroid is such an important part of the way that we function and regulate ourselves. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. It impacts your weight, metabolism, heart rate, cholesterol levels, and more. It is a regulating organ affecting your body in a lot of ways.
Around 12 percent of people have a thyroid condition and since it is so overlooked, many of them don’t even know that they have it. There are questions involved here. When should you be thinking about your thyroid health? What should you do when you think you might have a thyroid condition? For a mom, these questions are quite important. Continue reading below to find signs of a thyroid condition and what to do about it.
Significant Weight Change
When you have kept your habits, diet, and exercise the same but your weight has fluctuated, this could be a sign of a thyroid issue. Unexplained changes in weight could be the result of hyperthyroidism, otherwise known as an overactive thyroid. It could also be the result of hypothyroidism, otherwise known as an underactive thyroid. The thyroid produces its own hormone, and if it produces too much or too little, you could lose or gain weight without knowing why. Paying attention to your weight doesn’t just have to do with vanity, you should monitor it to be alerted of possible health problems like a thyroid condition.
You Look Different
Beyond losing or gaining weight, a thyroid problem could affect how you look in other ways. How is your hair? Is it thin and brittle? It could be a sign of a thyroid issue. Your skin could also be an indicator of an issue. If it’s dry, red, itchy, or irritated, you could have a condition in your thyroid. The problem with this is that you could mistake these as typical skin issues, but if you also have joint swelling, a puffy face, or swelling at the base of the neck, it could be time to get a check-up.
Your Mood Changes
Even your mood is affected by your thyroid. An overactive thyroid that produces too much of the hormone may cause you to feel stressed, anxious, and nervous while an underactive thyroid producing too little of the hormone could make people feel depressed. A hypoactive thyroid can lead to feeling down, and your energy could be low.
You Feel Exhausted
Hypothyroidism could lead to you feeling tired and lethargic, but hyperthyroidism can make it difficult for you to feel relaxed and fall asleep at night. When you are lacking the hormone thyroxine, you will feel depleted and without any energy. With both conditions, your muscles could feel weak and sore, making you feel worn down and exhausted. Thyroid hormone fluctuations can make you feel tired in all sorts of ways. If you’ve been feeling tired and don’t know why – it could be your thyroid.
Your Temperature Fluctuates
An overactive thyroid may lead to sensitivity to heat and sweating. On the other hand, an underactive thyroid could lead to the person struggling to stay warm. When your thyroid is working well, it will produce 35 percent heat and 65 percent energy. The changes in the thyroid hormone may cause your internal temperature to decrease or increase. Since the thyroid can help regulate your weight, losing or gaining also has an impact on your internal temperature. Underactive thyroids could lead to weight loss and feeling cold while underactive thyroids result in weight gain and feeling warm.
You Have Irregular Periods or Missed a Cycle
Both underactive and overactive thyroid issues can affect the menstrual cycle and lead to infertility. With too little thyroxine, the body has difficulty releasing eggs needed for ovulation. This can affect a woman’s period. You could skip a cycle when you have thyroid problems. Hypothyroidism puts women at risk for problems during pregnancy, even miscarriage. Too much thyroxine can lead to missed periods.
What You Should Do When You’re Having these Problems
When you’re having one or multiple of these problems, you should immediately get a thyroid test. Not only will it tell you if your thyroid is producing too much or not enough of the thyroxine hormone, but you could also find out if there is another problem. A test on the thyroid can help the doctor catch a thyroid nodule, which can help detect serious issues like thyroid cancer.
The problem is, that you may not have any symptoms when you have an issue with your thyroid. An overactive thyroid could leave you feeling hot and bloated, but you might not connect these issues. As you get older, a routine thyroid test will enable you to find out the levels of the thyroxine hormone. This can be very telling about the rest of your body and how it is regulating itself.
The thyroid is an overlooked organ, but it has a large impact on your body and the ability for it to regulate itself. It is located at the base of the neck, but it can have a large effect on how your body is doing. It can result in mental and physical fluctuations. You can feel tired and fatigued. You could feel cold and weak. You could feel hot and anxious. Your weight may fluctuate. The amount of thyroxine in the body can lead to problems with the menstrual cycle and fertility. This makes it one of the most important organs in the body to monitor for mothers.
When you’re a mother, you should take care of your body so that you can take care of your family. A thyroid exam is one of the many tests that you should have routinely to check up on how things are going. If you have routine check-ups, you will be able to catch problems and treat them more effectively. Most people don’t really know what the thyroid does and why it is so important. Now that you do, schedule your next check-up soon to make sure everything is in working order.