The thyroid gland is located in the neck. It controls all your metabolic processes including regulating growth rate, temperature, heart rate, how you utilize energy, how you make proteins and etc. It is vital gland which regulates most of your inner body activities.
The thyroid gland might not work properly due to a number of reasons., for example an infection, malnutrition of certain dietary components especially iodine, malignancy or unknown reasons.
Here are 8 signs to look out for that suggest you might have a thyroid problem:
You’re exhausted: You had full-night sleep 8 – 10hours but you wake up in the morning and you still feel tired or want to sleep again. This means the circulating thyroid hormone in your system is low ergo signals are not reaching your target ‘wake-up’ muscles as they are supposed to.
Hyperactivity: When our thyroid sends constant unregulated signals to all the systems it controls, you get overwhelmed. All your metabolic processes speed up and your entire body spins into an overdrive. You can’t calm yourself down. Your hands can’t stop trembling and you are nervous all the time.
Heart:Your heart rate increases with increasing circulating thyroid hormones. The pumping pressure of blood from your heart is increased when there is increased circulating thyroid hormone whereas the pressure of blood returning to fill your heart is increased in reduced circulating thyroid hormone. The latter can cause swelling of lower extremities and even a fluid buildup around your heart which reduces your heart rate.
Hypoactivity:With reduced signals being sent to your target receptors, there comes a delayed, slow functional activity. You become forgetful, you can’t concentrate, you are constipated, and you are not sweating as you should so your skin is unusually dry, your vision might begin to fade and your hearing might decrease.
Weight changes: Depending on which form of thyroid disease you have, weight changes are a common symptom. If you’re producing large amounts of thyroid hormones then you might experience a paradoxical weight loss with an increased appetite.Reduced circulating thyroid hormones cause a puffiness (increased weight) which is usually accompanied by a decreased appetite.
Heat/cold intolerance:Your body temperature is control by your thyroid and your hypothalamus. However, when the thyroid is affected, the whole system goes haywire. You feel hot in winter and cold in summer. To confirm this, simply ask those around you if they’re feeling cold on a sunny hot day.
Face, head and neck: People might notice a constant blank stare or a dull look along with coarse facial features. Your hair might become very thin. Your neck might have a protruding noticeable mass.
Reproductive changes:Your menstrual flow might be less than usual or you might miss your periods. Infertility, loss of pubic hair and low sex drive.
You should visit your doctor (GP or endocrinologist) when you experience the above symptoms. They will give you a full physical exam and then run a couple of laboratory tests such as your Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels, your T3 and T4, Antibodies to your thyroid hormone e.g. TPOAb, TgAb etc. Once they confirm the diagnosis, they come up with a treatment plan. Many forms of thyroid disease are treatable. You can also bcaa supplements to your prevention plan.