The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of your neck, and it plays a crucial role in maintaining your overall health and well-being. It produces hormones that regulate metabolism, mood, energy levels, and temperature control.
Thyroid diseases can negatively affect your health and lead to other health complications. It is important to receive regular checks to ensure it is properly functioning. Below, we will discuss five essential reasons why you should check your thyroid.
1. Thyroid disorders are prevalent:
According to the American Thyroid Association, an estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, and up to 60% are unaware of their condition.
2. Thyroid dysfunction can have hundreds of possible symptoms
One of the main reasons why thyroid disorders often go undiagnosed is because the symptoms can be silent or nonspecific. Individuals with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) may experience symptoms such as weight loss, rapid heartbeat, and anxiety, while those with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) may experience symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and depression. These symptoms can be easily mistaken for other health issues.
3. Anyone can be affected by thyroid dysfunction
Although women are five times more likely to develop thyroid problems than men, it can happen to anyone. You may be at a higher risk of developing a thyroid condition if you have a family history of thyroid disease, have a medical condition such as Type 1 diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or are older than 60, especially in women.
4. Thyroid disorders can lead to other health complications:
If left untreated, thyroid disorders can lead to several health complications. Hypothyroidism, for example, can increase the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, and depression. Hyperthyroidism can cause complications such as osteoporosis, irregular heartbeat, and eye problems.
5. Early detection leads to better treatment outcomes:
Early detection is crucial in managing thyroid disorders effectively. When detected early, thyroid disorders can be treated with medication, lifestyle changes, and a healthy diet.