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What Is Thyroid Disease?

If you suffer from thyroid disease, you already know there is so much information to learn. Thyroid disease is one of the most common, yet the most uneducated topics in America. The United States alone is estimated to have at least 27  to 60 million suffering from thyroid disease.

The majority of people suffering are women but don’t forget about those that are suffering and not diagnosed. As there are so much information about thyroid disease, I will break it all down.

Where Is The Thyroid Located?

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland. This gland is located at the base of your neck. A healthy thyroid typically weighs about one once. Your thyroid is important for the function of your whole body. Just as your thyroid can affect other organs, other organs can affect your thyroid.

An important role of your thyroid is to absorb iodine. Your thyroid receives iodine from the food you intake and converts it to thyroid hormone. It does this by combining iodine and the tyrosine to produce the thyroid hormones.

Autoimmune Disease And Your Thyroid

Most people that suffer from a thyroid condition also have an autoimmune disease. There is only ten percent of people that have a thyroid issue that do not have an autoimmune disease. So if you are suffering from thyroid disease make sure you are getting your antibodies checked. There are two types of autoimmune diseases that affect the thyroid the most, Hashimoto’s and Graves.

Hashimoto’s Disease

This disease causes your immune system to attack your own thyroid gland. This is why it is very important to check your thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO) and (thyroglobulin TgAb ) antibodies. This will tell you how your thyroid is being impacted by this disease.

This disease can be very confusing for most people. The main condition that is shown to be associated with Hashimoto’s is hypothyroid. The symptoms that come with a hypothyroid condition are fatigue, brain fog, weight gain, and more. It can be hard for some people at the beginning of this disease because they experience hyperthyroid symptoms. These symptoms include weight loss, anxiety, jitteriness, over-activity, and more.

If you have this disease and do not treat it, you will become completely hypothyroid. It also comes with an increased risk of thyroid nodules, goiter (an enlarged thyroid), and a slightly increased risk of thyroid cancer. Eventually, it will destroy your thyroid over time if not properly addressed.

Graves’ Disease

This disease is an autoimmune condition that affects the immune system by overstimulating your thyroid. This causes your thyroid to produce too much thyroid hormones. If you want to test for this disease you can measure your thyroid-stimulating antibodies (TSI).

It is also necessary to test your TPO and TgAb antibodies as they also can be elevated. This disease is known to cause you to experience hyperthyroidism, thyroid nodules, and a goiter.

Thyroid Conditions

Please, note that whether you have hyperthyroid or hypothyroid you may suffer from symptoms of both conditions.

Hypothyroid

Hypothyroid is a very common thyroid condition. This is when your thyroid is not having enough thyroid hormones. This condition has many symptoms you can suffer from. Some are:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Inability to lose weight with diet and exercise
  • Constipation
  • Infertility
  • Feeling cold
  • Hair loss (including the outer edge of the eyebrows)
  • Brain fog
  • Muscle and joint pains/aches

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland is overproducing thyroid hormones. This condition also has many symptoms you can suffer from. Some are:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Panicky feeling
  • Tremors
  • Exaggerated reflexes
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Feeling overheated
  • Unexplained weight loss

Diagnosis

Trying to find a diagnosis can be extremely hard. Many doctors do not test all the correct thyroid levels for a proper diagnosis. This leads to so much confusion. You may be told you are fine even though you have many symptoms or you are misdiagnosed.

Misdiagnosing can lead to even more issues because you are prescribed medication based on inaccurate information. There are important testing to ask for when checking your thyroid hormones. These tests are:

  • TSH
  • Free T3
  • Free T4
  • Reverse T3
  • TPO
  • TGAB
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