January was Thyroid Awareness Month, it is necessary to discuss some essential points about thyroid health because 60% of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition. The thyroid gland is one of the diverse body parts that are responsible for several metabolic activities by secretion of thyroid hormones. According to British Thyroid Foundation (BTF), approximately 2% of the UK population is suffering from underactive thyroid. An underactive thyroid is also ten times more common in women.
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) occurs when your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a common condition where the thyroid doesn't create and release enough thyroid hormone into your bloodstream.
Early warning signs of thyroid problems:
Overactive thyroid: Racing heart rate, Anxiety, Insomnia, Nervousness, Weight loss with increased appetite, Excessive sweating/heat intolerance and Muscle weakness
Underactive thyroid: Fatigue (mental and physical), Cold intolerance, Constipation, Hair loss, Weight gain and Depression.
Let’s have a look at some facts about the thyroid:
Women are 5-8 times more likely than men to experience thyroid problems
1 in 8 women will develop a thyroid disorder in her lifetime
The cause of thyroid problems is largely unknown
Pregnant women need to be diagnosed and treated adequately. If not, risks include miscarriage, preterm delivery and severe developmental problems in their children
Most thyroid diseases are life-long and can be managed with proper medical attention
Thyroid nodules are very common and are present in 60-70% of middle-aged women
Undiagnosed thyroid diseases may lead to serious conditions like osteoporosis, heart disease, and high sodium diet, processed foods, red meat, saturated fats, phytoestrogens-containing foods, and excess green tea may heighten the risk of thyroid problems.
We all need to pay a little attention to ourselves so we may get a hint of our symptoms. If you noticed any of those consult them with your general practitioner.