Believe it or not, thyroid problems are more common than you think. According to the American Thyroid Association, an estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease. What’s even scarier is that up to 60% of them aren’t aware of their condition.
These numbers are staggering to look at, and the probability of any of us getting a thyroid problem is bigger than we might consider. The worst part? Women are more likely to have thyroid problems. Women are five to eight more times likely to have thyroid problems. Not only that, but one in eight women will develop a thyroid issue during her lifetime.
Fortunately, your body always lets you know when something is wrong before it becomes too big to handle. There are some symptoms that, if you have them, it could mean that you have some type of thyroid problem.
5. What’s the Thyroid?
It’s important that we understand what the thyroid is before we start. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that’s located on the front of your neck, right below the Adam’s apple. This gland is in charge of producing different types of hormones.
These hormones are in charge of many different jobs, including metabolism, growth, development, body temperature, and energy. For kids, the thyroid helps them with brain development.
There are so many different types of thyroid problems that we can’t list all of them here, but some of the most common problems are hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and Graves’ disease. Even though they might sound similar, they’re different problems, and their symptoms aren’t similar either.
4. What’s Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism, also know as underactive thyroid disease, is a condition in which your thyroid isn’t producing as many hormones as it’s supposed to. As we mentioned before, the thyroid is in charge of giving your body energy, help regulate your body’s temperature, and also help with your metabolism. When you have hypothyroidism, it’s highly likely that you don’t have the same energy as before, and your metabolism becomes slow.
Keep in mind, though, that the symptoms below are vague, and they might be part of other diseases or sicknesses. That being said, here are the most commons symptoms of hypothyroidism:
- You might gain weight
- Changes in your menstrual cycle
- You might feel fatigued
- Dry hair and hair loss, especially in the lateral edges of the eyebrows
- Face puffiness
- Elevated cholesterol
- Muscle weakness and slow reflexes
- Joint and muscle pain
- Slow heartbeat
As we mentioned, some of these symptoms are pretty common, so the only way to know for a fact that you have hypothyroidism is by taking a blood test.Related: 15 Thyroid Disease Symptoms You’re Ignoring