Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck. Its job is to make hormones that affect every process in your body, including your heartbeat, digestion, and body temperature. And because your thyroid plays a part in burning calories, it also has an impact on your weight.
If your thyroid isn’t functioning properly, you may experience one or more of a range of symptoms, from unexplained weight gain to insomnia. Here at Houston Family MD, Dr. Ranjit S. Grewal and our team want you to understand how your thyroid works and what may happen to your body if your thyroid is imbalanced.
Millions of Americans have conditions that affect how their thyroid works. In fact, more than 12% of Americans will develop a thyroid condition at some point in their lives, according to the American Thyroid Association. Although both men and women can develop thyroid disease, it’s five to eight times more likely in women.
Common thyroid conditions include hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), thyroid cancer, goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland), and nodules (lumps) on the thyroid. When your thyroid is overactive or underactive, it doesn’t make the amount of hormones your body needs.
You may have a thyroid condition and not realize it. As many as 60% of people with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition, as many of its effects on your body could be symptoms of other issues.
Symptoms of an overactive thyroid
If your thyroid is overactive, it produces too much thyroid hormone. Because this hormone plays a part in revving up your body and fueling your metabolism, too much can overstimulate your body. Symptoms of an overactive thyroid include:
- Eye irritation
- Frequent feeling of being overheated
- Heart palpitations or elevated pulse
- Muscle weakness
- Night sweats that may wake you up
- Trouble sleeping
- Vision problems
You also may experience unexplained weight loss or have trouble gaining weight. When your thyroid is out of balance, you may experience several of these symptoms at once.
Symptoms of an underactive thyroid
If your thyroid is underactive, you may feel under-stimulated, fatigued, or lethargic because of a shortage of energizing thyroid hormone. Your metabolism may feel like it’s stuck in low gear. Symptoms of an underactive thyroid include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Frequent feeling of coldness, especially in your hands and feet
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Memory problems or brain fog
- Sleeping more than usual
- Thinning hair or dry skin
- Unexplained weight gain
As with hyperthyroidism, you may experience more than one of these symptoms at a time.
Help for your imbalanced thyroid
Thyroid conditions can be successfully managed with treatments such as medication, special supplements, and lifestyle changes.
Call 281-477-0525 or book an appointment online at Houston Family MD to schedule a thyroid check-up with us today.