Did you know that January is Thyroid Awareness Month? Unless you or a loved one has experienced thyroid-related issues, you may never even think about it. However, a person’s thyroid has a major impact on many areas of health and wellness. Today, our hormone replacement therapy Bedford TX specialists (locations also in Benbrook, Boyd and Lewisville) are sharing some of the top ways to recognize thyroid issues. Read on to learn more!
What Does a Healthy Thyroid Do?
The Thyroid is part of the endocrine system. Located in the neck just below the larynx, it is approximately 2 inches long and shaped like a butterfly. The thyroid’s job is to help regulate metabolism with the production and release of two different hormones, commonly referred to as T-3 and T-4.
When your thyroid is healthy and fully functioning, the hormones it produces can positively affect several functions, including the following:
- Heart rate
- Cholesterol levels
- Body temperature
- Weight gain/loss
- Menstrual cycles
Signs & Symptoms of a Possible Thyroid Issue
According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), more than 12% of the American population will develop a thyroid issue at some point in their life. Even more importantly, over 60% of those who develop a thyroid condition will not realize it. Don’t be a part of these statistics; know the signs and symptoms of a possible thyroid issue. The following are the most common signs:
- Changes in skin and hair
- Severe constipation and/or diarrhea
- Changes in menstrual cycles and fertility
- Increased muscle and joint pain
- Unexplained changes in weight
- Unexplained changes in cholesterol
- Neck discomfort and/or swelling
If you have experienced five or more of these symptoms over the course of 3+ months, we recommend you schedule a time to talk with your doctor about further testing. If you live in Tarrant County and are looking for a doctor who can help, Your Family Medical has some of the best healthcare associates Bedford TX has to offer (locations also in Boyd, Benbrook and Lewisville).
Common Thyroid Problems
Although Thyroid problems can certainly affect everyone differently, there are several common conditions that come about as a result of thyroid problems. The most common conditions include the following:
- Goiter: This is the swelling of the thyroid gland.
- Nodules: These are growths that develop on the thyroid gland. They may or may not be cancerous.
- Hypothyroidism: This means that the thyroid is underactive. An underactive thyroid will typically cause weight gain and increased fatigue due to a slower metabolism. It also can cause depression.
- Hyperthyroidism: This means that the thyroid is overactive. Signs of an overactive thyroid include a faster heart rate, unexplained weight loss and irritability.
Things Your Family Doctor Can Do to Help
Your primary care physician can do several things to help you if you suspect you or a loved one may be experiencing thyroid problems. Your doctor can do a thorough exam and compare it with your health history. He or she can diagnose you and begin a comprehensive treatment plan.
One of the treatments offered at Your Family Medical for thyroid problems as well as other hormone imbalances is called Hormone Replacement Therapy. Hormone replacement therapy is a unique procedure where hormones that mimic the natural ones found in the body are administered to restore levels and alleviate symptoms of an imbalance. This treatment comes in a variety of forms including pellets that dissolve within the skin, injections via a fine needle, patches that are placed on the surface of the skin, and more. To learn more, read up on the 8 things to know about hormone replacement.
If your daily life has been affected by one or more symptoms of a thyroid problem, our medical providers want to help you lead a happier, healthier life. We have clinic locations in four convenient Texas locations, including: Bedford, Benbrook, Boyd and Justin. Give us a call today to schedule your first appointment.