Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What kind of problems can your thyroid cause?"
My doctor for some reason said that I should have my thyroid tested after I had a physical. What is he looking for? What kind of problems can your thyroid cause?
The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland located in the neck. Although small in size, it has extremely important functions. It controls energy consumption by affecting nearly all the tissues of your body by affecting activity within cells, and thus, it regulates your metabolism via the production of thyroid hormones. Thyroid gland dysfunction can occur in many different ways, namely, it can be hyperfunctioning (hyperthyroidism), functioning less than normal (hypothyroidism) or there maybe nodules in the gland that may or may not be associated with cancer. All of the above issues are extremely common. Very often thyroid gland dysfunction can be noted by your doctor by simple physical examination, and sometimes, based on your symptoms. For example, an inactive thyroid gland can cause symptoms of fatigue, weakness, weight gain, dry skin, depression, constipation, low libido whereas a hyperactive thyroid gland can be responsible for symptoms of palpitation, difficulty sleeping, weight loss, heat intolerance, diarrhea and nervousness. You should make an appointment with your physician to discuss this further and determine what testing is needed. Disorders of the thyroid are easily detected via abnormalities in a blood test and if needed an ultrasound of the thyroid can be obtained as well. Depending on the results, effective treatment can be provided to improve your overall health. Again, please see your doctor soon.
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