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The thyroid is a small gland located at the front of your throat, shaped like a butterfly. Unlike popular opinion that considers it quite insignificant, in the grand scheme of things, the thyroid plays a major role in maintaining our optimal health and our body’s correct functionality. Here’s what you should know about the thyroid gland and what it means to have a thyroid too high or too low.
A condition that arises due to the insufficient activity of the thyroid gland, hypothyroidism is a disease in which there is not enough of the thyroid hormone. This under activity and lack of adequate amounts of the thyroid hormone can affect the way the body stores and utilizes energy - leading to various organs performing insufficiently. With this kind of inadequate functionality, the body is said to have a slow metabolism.
There are two major causes for hypothyroidism. One is Autoimmune Hypothyroidism, better known as Hasimoto’s Thyroiditis. This condition is cause by an autoimmune reaction of the body against the thyroid gland such that the body produces anti-thyroid antibodies which attack the gland. The second major cause for hypothyroidism is the use of certain drugs or medications.
Common signs and symptoms of low levels of thyroid include but are not limited to:
The exact opposite of hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism is the condition in which the level of the thyroid hormone is increased considerably. This is often due to the increased activity of the thyroid gland itself which continually produces the thyroid hormone in excess.
Because the hormone Thyroxine regulates the functionality of the major organs of the body, excess thyroxine can result in the body functions being sped up. Autoimmune condition such as Graves’ Disease is the most common cause for Hyperthyroidism; however, the presence of thyroid nodules can also over-stimulate the thyroid gland.
Common signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism include but are not limited to the following:
Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism can both be successfully diagnosed via blood testing for thyroid hormone levels. As such, if you recognize any of the symptoms for either high or low thyroid levels, it is advisable to seek professional medical help at first opportunity. Set up an appointment to consult with primary health care provider Dr. Shalin Parikh and discuss your concerns at Health One Family Medicine by calling 469-262-5762. Or visit www.healthonemedicine.com for more information.
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