What Does Your Thyroid Gland Do?
Your thyroid controls how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. So naturally, if you have a thyroid problem or thyroid disease it can affect your weight, but it can also cause other problems.
Your thyroid gland is part of a network of glands known as your endocrine system. It is located at the base of your neck, below your Adam’s apple. The function of your thyroid gland is to supply your blood with thyroid hormone which your body uses as energy, it also helps to regulate your digestion, metabolism, heart rate, respiration and even your mood.
Thyroid Disease & Thyroid Disorders
- Hyperthyroidism, also know as an overactive thyroid, which means your thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone. The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is a thyroid disease called Graves’ disease.
- Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid, is when your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. This is commonly caused by a thyroid disease called Hashimoto’s disease.
- A Goiter is a lump on your neck which is caused by an enlarged thyroid gland. A goiter can form if you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
- Thyroiditis is caused by an inflammation or damage to thyroid cells commonly caused by an autoimmune disease like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or infection.
- Thyroid Cancer is a very rare form of cancer. Most thyroid nodules are noncancerous, but 10% of nodules can become cancerous which happens in less than 10% of nodules.
- Thyroid Nodules are a common condition most often associated with Hashimoto thyroiditis or an iodine deficiency, but the exact causes are unknown.
The good news is most thyroid diseases are curable or manageable with the proper treatment. According to the Thyroid Foundation of Canada about 200 million people have some form of thyroid disease.
Symptoms of Thyroid Disorders
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
- Pounding heartbeat or irregular heartbeat
- Hand tremors
- Unexplained weight loss
- Excessive sweating
- Diarrhea or frequent bowel movements
- Bulging eyes
- Goiter or lump in throat
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
- Weak or slow heartbeat
- Chronic fatigue
- Red, thick skin on shins or feet
- Memory loss
- Goiter or lump in throat
- Unexplained weight gain
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