The thyroid is small but mighty.
The thyroid, which is located in the neck, is central to producing numerous hormones throughout the body, said Dr. Kweku Osei of Northwest Health Services.
“The thyroid is an organ that’s usually located at the base of the neck and the Adam’s apple. What it does is it helps to produce hormones called a thyroid-stimulating hormone that helps the body function,” he said. “It helps the brain, it helps the muscles, and it helps us regulate our temperature.”
It is possible to not have enough thyroid hormones.
“Hypothyroidism means that you don’t have enough thyroid hormones in your blood,” Osei said.
There are multiple symptoms associated with hypothyroidism.
“Most of the time ... a patient comes in and they tell you they’re having a lot of fatigue, they’re sleeping way too much, they are depressed and they are putting on a lot of weight,” Osei said.
Just as someone can have too little of the thyroid hormone, they also can have too much.
“Hyperthyroidism is when somebody has too much thyroid hormones in the blood,” Osei said. “If you have too much thyroid hormones in your blood, sometimes you might have chest and heart palpitations and sometimes you might go to the restroom quite frequently.”
Osei said it’s best to take record your symptoms if you believe you are suffering from hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
“Number one is I would recommend that you take a journal of your symptoms, you try to write down as much as possible of what you are feeling at home,” Osei said.
He also recommended people see a doctor for evaluation if they have any concerns.
“I will also recommend that you go see your primary-care physician and have them go through your symptoms. If you want further testing, I believe they will go ahead and evaluate that for you,” Osei said.
To learn more about the thyroid gland, go online to www.mayoclinic.org.