Have you been feeling overly tired? Do your joints or muscles ache? Have you been gaining or losing weight rapidly? Do you feel extremely anxious? Depressed?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might want to have your thyroid checked.
Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that regulates your body’s metabolism along with your heart, brain, and digestive functions. Furthermore, the thyroid gland is what produces and regulates our hormones. Several disorders can occur when the thyroid produces too many hormones, known as hyperthyroidism(Graves disease), or not enough, known as hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s disease).
When the thyroid becomes unbalanced, the body’s functions can begin to deteriorate, leaving many people with varying degrees of mood swings, weight loss or gain, muscle weakness, heart palpitations, constipation or frequent bowel movements, etc.
It is estimated that over 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, with up to 60% of people unaware of their condition.
Despite the severity of a person’s condition, thyroid diseases must be monitored and treated with the help of a primary care provider for life. Thyroid diseases can be disabling if left untreated or if treatment is stopped abruptly.
But, before you go “Googling” your symptoms to see if you have a thyroid disease or taking many of the online quizzes and “symptom checkers” or worse, looking at WebMD for treatment plans, remember that the best way to know for sure, if you are suffering from any type of condition, thyroid-related or otherwise, is to proactively schedule an appointment with a primary care provider in Oak Brook, IL.
We use the term proactively here, because, just as mentioned previously, over 60% of Americans who have thyroid issues are not getting tested for these diseases! The reason for this isn’t because they are all trying to avoid seeing their doctor (though, that could be part of it), but because symptoms of thyroid diseases aren’t always apparent, or many people “write them off” as something else. For example, let’s take a look at the general symptoms for hypothyroidism:
- Weight Gain
- Thinning Hair
- Heavy or Irregular Menstrual Cycles
- Dry Skin
Alternatively, here are some of the general symptoms of hyperthyroidism:
- Frequent Bowel Movements
- Weight Loss
- Rapid Heart Rate
As you can see, these “general” symptoms are just that, general and could be caused by several factors in your life, including stress, sleep apnea, changes in diet, adrenal fatigue, changes in work or home life, etc. The only way that you can know for sure if you are hyper or hypothyroid is by having a trusted primary care provider get to the root of your symptoms, rather than look at them at a surface level.
Make An Appointment Today
Regardless of your symptoms or lack of symptoms, at Vitality Family Health, our proactive, patient-centered approach allows us to uncover why you may be feeling overly tired or irritable or why you may be gaining or losing weight at a pace that is not your “normal.” Then we will be able to order additional testing if necessary and provide you with a comprehensive, holistic treatment plan that is in alignment with your health goals and lifestyle.
If you believe you may be suffering from a thyroid condition, or if you have maybe been feeling a little off, or even if it’s been more than six months since your last physical, it’s time to take back control of your health, on your terms. Contact our family care center in Oak Brook, IL, to schedule an appointment to discuss your current health concerns and how we can help you get back to feeling like yourself.