Your thyroid is a small gland that is shaped like a butterfly and is located in your neck, right below your voice box. It is responsible for regulating your body’s natural metabolic process. Many women experience thyroid problems including overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) and underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). In fact, a woman faces as high as a one in five chance of developing thyroid problems during her lifetime. That risk will increase with age and for those who have a family history of thyroid problems. Women who have recently had children are also more at risk for developing thyroid problems.
Hyperthyroidism is most common in women between the ages of twenty and forty. The symptoms include weakness and fatigue, shaky hands, increase in rate of heartbeat, weight loss, more frequent and looser bowel movements, anxiety, irritability, eye irritation or problems, menstrual cycle changes, greater sensitivity to heat and increased perspiration and infertility. The symptoms of hypothyroidism include sluggishness and fatigue, depression, greater sensitivity to cold, unexplained weight gain, dry hair and skin, constipation and menstrual irregularities.
Thyroid problems go undetected in many cases. This is unfortunate as thyroid problems can be easily detected using a blood test called a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) test. If you are experiencing symptoms and think it may be due to a thyroid problem, schedule an appointment with your doctor today to get a TSH test. Once your diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor can recommend the best treatment or treatments to get you back on the road to full health.