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What are the Early Warning Signs of Thyroid Problems

The thyroid gland is a vital part of the human body. It is responsible for producing, storing, and releasing thyroid hormones to help regulate and maintain key cell functions for the entire body system. This means that the thyroid gland affects every organ in the body, so the cell functions must be carried out correctly. For instance, if the body becomes too hot or too cold, the thyroid gland releases hormones to work to regulate the body’s temperature. The thyroid gland plays an important role in the metabolism, growth, and development of the body. 

Bodily functions the thyroid hormone regulates:  

  • Bone loss.
  • Bodyweight.  
  • Cardiovascular health.
  • Menstrual cycles.
  • Healthy digestion.  
  • Brain development. 
  • Cholesterol levels.
  • Muscle strength and control.
  • Central nervous system (CNS). 

The body needs to have iodine to produce thyroid hormone. The body does not produce iodine, so it comes from foods and water that the body takes in. But the body does not need much iodine to produce the hormone. The iodine gets trapped in the thyroid gland, is processed into thyroid hormone, then released and recycled as it is used to create more thyroid hormone. The 2 types of hormones produced from iodine are thyroxine (or tetraiodothyronine) and triiodothyronine, which regulate your weight, energy levels, hair growth, and more.    

The thyroid gland, located at the base of your neck, the pituitary gland, located in the skull, and the hypothalamus gland, located in a portion of the brain, all communicate to make sure the thyroid hormones are produced meet the needs of the body. A problem can occur if there is communication trouble between the glands or an issue with the thyroid itself. If this happens, a diagnosis will need to be determined by a doctor known as an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT for short).

When your body produces too little or too many hormones, that is considered a thyroid disease. The two most common types of thyroid disease are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is having an underacting thyroid and is often accompanied by an enlarged thyroid gland called a goiter. Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid causing your body to use energy too quickly. Both thyroid diseases are severe conditions that can be genetically inherited and should be treated by an ENT specialist.  

Early warning signs of hypothyroidism:

  • Weight gain.
  • Slow heart rate.
  • Tiredness.
  • Forgetfulness.
  • Dry hair and skin.
  • Hoarse voice.
  • Frequent and stronger menstrual periods.
  • Unable to tolerate cold temperatures.

Early warning signs for hyperthyroidism:

  • Weight loss.
  • Fast heart rate.
  • Irritability and nervousness.
  • Muscle weakness and tremors.
  • Eye discomfort.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Irregular menstrual periods.
  • Heat sensitivity.

About 59 million people suffer from thyroid problems in the US, although most people are not even aware that they have a problem. People of any age and race can develop thyroid disease, but women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to experience thyroid function problems. When the thyroid gland does not work properly, it can affect the whole body’s function, making you feel less like yourself. A family physician or internist can recommend you to an ENT.      

If you are now questioning that the way you feel might be due to a thyroid issue, contact the ear, nose, and throat specialist at Camellia ENT today. They are located in the Lafayette, LA area and are waiting to help you feel better soon. Their friendly and knowledgeable medical staff will be waiting to hear from you. Call today!  

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