Why am I feeling like this? – Thyroid issues
The thyroid is a small gland located at the front of your neck, just below your Adams Apple. Although it is small, normally it can’t be felt or seen, it is a very important hormonal gland. It produces thyroid hormones (called thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3)), which control our metabolism, body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure. So, it is not surprising, that when things go wrong with the thyroid, people get a variety of symptoms, and in fact may feel very unwell.
The commonest thyroid conditions are an underactive or overactive thyroid; however, sometimes it takes a long time to get the right diagnosis.
Underactive thyroid (Hypothyroidism)
Up to 2% of women have this condition, which presents with a multitude of symptoms. These symptoms include tiredness and feeling unwell, feeling the cold, brain fog, concentration problems, depression, hair loss, and weight gain. Sometimes, an underactive thyroid can lead to fertility problems. Because of the generic nature of symptoms, for many it takes a long time to get the right diagnosis. An underactive thyroid is a life-long condition that needs management with hormone replacement.
Overactive thyroid (Hyperthyroidism)
Hyperthyroidism affects mostly women between the ages of 20 and 50 years, although may also present later in life. Typical symptoms are weight loss, feeling anxious and restless, shaking of the hands or body (tremor), a racing heart beat (palpitations), feeling hot all the time, or increased bowel frequency. It may also lead to light or missed periods. Sometimes, an overactive thyroid is accompanied by eye problems, for example dryness and itchiness.
The symptoms of overactive thyroid are of generic nature, and therefore it often remains unrecognised at first. However, this can lead to serious problems, especially with the heart rhythm and the ability of the heart to pump appropriately. Over time, an overactive thyroid may also lead to thinning of the bones (osteoporosis).
With appropriate treatment, the symptoms of an overactive thyroid will go, and the overall outlook of the condition is positive.
If you feel that you would like to discuss any symptoms or thyroid issues with me, please request an appointment using the form below.