From an interview with
Amy Klimek, DNP
McLeod Doctor of Nursing Practitioner
Thyroid disease is the result of dysfunction of your thyroid gland. Our thyroid gland is located in our neck, right above our collar bone. And this is a part of your endocrine system. The thyroid is a very important aspect of our human body. It helps to regulate our temperature, controls our nervous system, how we breathe, our cardiovascular health. Any dysfunction of the thyroid can affect the hormones that are released that control these body functions.
Two of the most common forms of thyroid disorder are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is an under stimulation of our thyroid gland or a deficiency of hormones. Some of the symptoms that you may see with hypothyroidism would include slowed metabolism, fatigue, weight, gain, brittle hair, and dry skin.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism or an overstimulation of our thyroid hormones, may result in irritability, nervousness or anxiety, bulging of the eyes or a goiter of your thyroid, hair loss and an increase in our heart rate. It’s estimated that approximately 20 million Americans are affected by thyroid disorders with 60% of them likely being undiagnosed.
Women are five to eight times more likely to develop a thyroid disorder during their lifetime than a male.Thyroid disorders and its treatment will highly depend upon the type of disorder that you are diagnosed with; it may not be curable, but absolutely treatable. Thyroid disorders can absolutely have a familial component to them, especially if you have any family history of autoimmune diseases.
If you feel as if you may be suffering with a thyroid condition, it’s important to reach out to your primary care provider. We can do a simple blood test that will help to determine how your hormones are working in your body. If there are any deficiencies or overstimulation, such as in hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, there are medications that we can provide to help regulate those hormones and to relieve you of your symptoms. It is important to note that thyroid disorders are certainly a lifetime disorder and will require routine medical management.
To learn more, speak with a primary care provider near you.