Signs That You Should Get Your Thyroid Checked

January is Thyroid Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about the importance of the thyroid gland and the impact it has on our overall health. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck that produces hormones that regulate the body's metabolism. These hormones help control the body's energy levels, body temperature, and heart rate.

Unfortunately, thyroid disorders are common, with an estimated 20 million Americans suffering from some form of thyroid disease. When your thyroid is not functioning properly, it can cause a wide range of symptoms. It's important to be aware of these signs and to get your thyroid checked if you notice any changes in your body. Here are some signs that you should get your thyroid checked:

  1. Changes in weight: If you are gaining weight without making any changes to your diet or exercise routine, it could be a sign of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). On the other hand, if you are losing weight without trying, it could be a sign of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).

  2. Fatigue: If you are feeling constantly tired or fatigued, even after getting a full night's sleep, it could be a sign of an underactive thyroid.

  3. Changes in mood: A thyroid disorder can affect your mood and cause symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and irritability.

  4. Dry skin and hair: Dry skin and hair can be a sign of an underactive thyroid.

  5. Difficulty concentrating: If you are having trouble focusing or concentrating, it could be a sign of a thyroid disorder.

  6. Changes in bowel movements: Constipation or diarrhea can be a sign of a thyroid disorder.

  7. Muscle aches and weakness: If you are experiencing muscle aches and weakness, it could be a sign of an underactive thyroid.

  8. Changes in menstrual cycles: A thyroid disorder can affect your menstrual cycle and cause irregular periods or heavy bleeding.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to speak with your doctor. They will be able to perform a physical examination and order blood tests to check your thyroid function. If a thyroid disorder is found, it can usually be treated with medication. It's important to get treatment as soon as possible, as untreated thyroid disorders can lead to more serious health problems. Don't ignore these signs – get your thyroid checked and take control of your health.

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