Thyroid issues are far more prevalent than most people realize. According to the Thyroid Foundation of Canada, roughly 5 percent of Canadians suffer from an undiagnosed thyroid problem. The Colorado Thyroid Disease Prevalence Study extrapolates that 9.9 percent of the U.S. population suffers from an undiagnosed thyroid issue. That's almost 13 million people.
With so many suffering from thyroid problems without relief, how can you better know if you should have your thyroid checked? If you suffer from some of the subtle symptoms listed below, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss whether your thyroid may be the culprit.
1. Weight change. A sudden change in weight when your eating habits haven't changed is a big indicator that something is up. Hyperthyroidism will cause people to lose weight. Hypothyroidism will cause sufferers to gain weight.
2. Hair change. Hyperthyroidism will cause the hair to become brittle and easily break. Hypothyroidism, on the other hand, will cause the hair to fall out or thin.
3. Temperature sensitivity. Hyperthyroid sufferers will find that they overheat quickly and sweat easily. Those who are suffering from hypothyroid will find that they get cold very easily.
4. Skin change. If you are suffering from hyperthyroidism, you skin may be thinning and break easily. Hypothyroid sufferers don't have thinning skin, but theirs is drier than normal.
5. Muscle. Muscle weakness is a common symptom among hyperthyroid sufferers. Hypothyroid sufferers will, instead, have muscle cramps, muscle aches, stiffness and, possibly, swelling.
6. Bowel difficulties. If you are suffering from hyperthyroid, you may find that you have more frequent bowel movements than normal. Those who are suffering from hypothyroid, however, may have issues with constipation.
7. Heart rate. Hyperthyroid sufferers tends to make the heart race and causes palpitations. Those with hypothyroid issues will have a slower heart rate.
8. Mood. If you find yourself anxious, nervous or easily upset, hyperthyroidism may be at fault. On the opposite end of the spectrum, hypothyroidism is responsible for feelings of depression and irritability.
9. Irregular periods. Regardless of whether your thyroid is hyper or hypo, having irregularities in your period may be a sign that something is going on with your thyroid.
10. Swollen neck. Known as a goiter, hyperthyroidism may present itself in swelling of the thyroid at the base of the neck.
11. Memory. Memory appears to be unaffected with hyperthyroid, but hypothyroid sufferers often have problems remembering things. They feel like they are slogging through mental mud.
No longer do you have to wonder if something is going on. If you have some of the symptoms above, make an appointment with your doctor to have your thyroid checked. Through both a physical exam and blood tests, your doctor can decide was is best to for you. Don't be a part of the undiagnosed masses any longer.