The thyroid is such a small part of your body, yet it makes a big difference in your overall health. Not all patients are aware of the functions this gland provides but January’s Thyroid Awareness Month serves as a great opportunity to highlight its importance.
What is the thyroid?
According to NCBI, the thyroid “plays a major role in the metabolism, growth, and development of the human body. It helps to regulate many body functions by constantly releasing a steady amount of thyroid hormones into the bloodstream.” It is even capable of adjusting this hormone production when needed, such as when you are growing or pregnant.
The thyroid is located on the front of your neck in a butterfly shape under your voice box – near the Adam’s apple.
Who can be affected by thyroid dysfunction?
Anyone can be impacted by thyroid dysfunction, though it is more common in women. It is believed 20 million Americans could be living with thyroid dysfunction.
There are a wide variety of symptoms for thyroid issues, making your record-keeping and symptom reporting to your medical provider key in having a proper diagnosis. The causes of thyroid dysfunctions are largely unknown.
How are thyroid issues tested?
A simple blood test can check for thyroid dysfunction.
What happens if your thyroid is not functioning correctly?
The thyroid produces two key hormones that serve an important role in your body from regulating temperature and heart rate to controlling the production of protein. When the thyroid becomes dysfunctional you can produce too much or too little of these two hormones. This can either dangerously speed up your body’s processes, or leave you feeling exhausted by a shortage.
To learn more about your thyroid, visit ThyroidAwareness.com