If you stop to think about your body, you will be truly amazed at how intricately it works to keep you alive and healthy. Your body relies on involuntary systems to work together and separately to help you perform the necessary roles of breathing, pumping blood, and various other life-dependent functions. One such part of the body that gets little thought is the thyroid. This small butterfly-shaped gland sits right below the voice box. The thyroid is responsible for regulating your body’s natural metabolic process. As many as one in five women have a chance of developing thyroid problems, including overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
Hyperthyroidism is most common in women between the ages of twenty and forty. The symptoms include weakness and fatigue, shaky hands, increased heart rate, 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.
Many women go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with thyroid issues because the symptoms of hypo- and hyperthyroidism often mimic other issues. Women tend to associate aging with weight gain and other symptoms, yet thyroid problems can be a direct cause. What is unfortunate about going undiagnosed is that there is a simple blood test called a TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) test that can check your thyroid levels. If you are experiencing symptoms of a thyroid issue, it is vital to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your concerns. If a thyroid issue is diagnosed, most treatment plans are easy and very effective.
At Marietta OB/GYN Affiliates, P.A., we offer complete wellness care to women of all ages. From adolescence to pregnancy through menopause, we meet women’s medical needs in every stage of life. Contact our practice today to schedule an appointment. We are currently accepting new patients, and we participate in most health insurance plans.