thyroid awarenessJanuary is thyroid awareness month, which is a perfect opportunity to give some helpful information on understanding the function of the thyroid.

What is your thyroid?

Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. It plays a huge role in our bodies and influences the function of other organs.

What are important hormones to note?

  • TSH – Thyroid Stimulating Hormone: communicates that additional thyroid hormone needs to be produced
  • T4 – Thyroxine: the storage or inactive form of thyroid hormone
  • T3 – Triiodothyronine: the active form of thyroid hormone, which increases metabolic activity

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is when you have reduced thyroid hormone levels, caused by an underactive thyroid. Symptoms can often be difficult to detect.

Common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to Cold
  • Inability to Focus
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Muscle/Joint pain

What is hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism is when you have elevated thyroid levels. While less common than hypothyroidism, it still affects about 1% of the population.

Common symptoms include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Insomnia
  • Weight loss
  • Panic attacks
  • Increased appetite

Who is affected?

Women are more likely than men to have a thyroid disease.

How to be diagnosed?

A blood test is the first step in being diagnosed for thyroid disease.

Think you may have a thyroid disease? Stop by Hampton Roads Urgent Care, we offer late hours and Saturday hours, to get blood work done. We also have a primary care doctor available at our urgent care, Dr. Dan Naumann.