Friday, January 9, 2009

An Overview of the Thyroid

The thyroid is a gland in the front part of your neck. This gland produces a hormone, and if helps regulate your body’s metabolism. These hormones are important as they regulate your body’s energy and the use of vitamins, as well as your body’s growth.

If this gland is not working properly, you could feel really fatigued. It could really run you down, and you may not know what is going on unless you go into your doctor’s office so that they may run some tests. There are many different symptoms of a thyroid problem, and they can easily confused with other problems.

If you have a loss of appetite or even some unexplained weight gain, it could be a sign of some kind of thyroid problem. These accompanied by other symptoms such as dry skin, hair loss, or even depression may show that you have a problem with your thyroid. In this case, you will want to seek your doctor so that they may run some tests to confirm.

It may be hard to detect a thyroid problem or be able to tell when you need to seek medical attention because these problems can start occurring over a long period of time. If you have any shortness of breath, abdominal pain, vomiting or confusion it may be time to consult your physician to see if you have a thyroid problem.

There are a couple of different tests that your doctor can run to see if you are having a thyroid problem. Most commonly they can run some simple blood work, or they may choose to run a scan of your thyroid, or even an ultrasound. They will not do a scan of your thyroid if you are pregnant because it is done with radioactive iodine.

Depending on the outcome of these tests, your doctor may find it necessary to operate and remove a tumor if one is found, but most commonly they will give you a simple medication to help the problem. You will need to follow up with your doctor every six to twelve months to make sure it is still working.

There are a lot of people who have problems with their thyroid, but if you know some of the common symptoms to look for you can stay on top of the problem before it gets worse. Because of our busy lifestyles and stress, the thyroid is a common problem in many of us.

1 comment:

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