The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland in the neck that produces hormones which are responsible for regulating the metabolism. Thyroid problems can vary from small, harmless goiters to, in rare cases, thyroid cancer. The most common issues are over- or underproduction of the thyroid hormones though. Depending on how much or how little hormone your thyroid makes, you may often feel restless or tired, or you may lose or gain weight. While the effects may be unpleasant or uncomfortable, most thyroid conditions can be managed well with routine treatment from a licensed physician.
Women are more likely than men to develop thyroid problems, with 1 in 8 women being diagnosed with a thyroid problem during her lifetime. Thyroid problems in women can cause issues with menstruation, becoming pregnant, and pregnancy. Women are more likely to have problems with their thyroid gland following pregnancy or menopause. Therefore it is highly important that women take appropriate measures to manage their thyroid health.
If you are concerned about thyroid issues, please call our office at (847) 296-1200 to schedule an appointment.
Low levels of thyroid hormones is a condition known as hypothyroidism. A drop in thyroid levels can lead to a slower metabolism and decreased energy levels, as the body burns calories more slowly. Common side effects include feelings of “sluggishness”and
weight gain, despite not eating any more food. Over time, you may develop further symptoms, including:
Feeling very tired
Feeling sad or depressed
Feeling unusually cold
Muscle weakness or pain
Pale, dry skin
Dry, thinning hair
Slow heart rate
Less sweating than usual
A puffy face
A hoarse voice
If you believe you may be suffering from hypothyroidism, contact your physician today to schedule an appointment.
High levels of thyroid hormones can result in the opposite condition, hyperthyroidism.
This causes the metabolism to speed up, usually resulting in weight loss, despite no change in eating habits. Over time, hyperthyroidism may also cause the following symptoms:
Eating more than usual
Rapid or irregular heartbeat or pounding of your heart
Feeling nervous or anxious
Trembling in your hands and fingers
Feeling hot when other people do not
Diarrhea or more bowel movements than normal
Changes in your eyes that can include bulging of the eyes, redness, or irritation
Hyperthyroidism raises your risk for osteoporosis, a condition that causes weak bones that break easily. In fact, hyperthyroidism might affect your bones before you have any of the other symptoms of the condition. This is especially true of women who have gone through menopause or who are already at high risk of osteoporosis. Sometimes these symptoms may be confused for menopausal symptoms, so it is important to have your thyroid levels checked.
For more information on thyroid problems, check out the following links: