Are you a woman?
If so, you may be at a higher risk for thyroid disease. According to the American Thyroid Association, women are five to eight times more likely than men to develop thyroid disorders. If left undiagnosed, thyroid disease can lead to higher risks of other serious conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, and infertility.
Unfortunately, researchers don’t know exactly why women are more prone to thyroid disorder than men, but the trend is noticeable.
Jerica Phillips, from WMC Action News 5 reports that thyroid cancer is three times more common in women than in men. The thyroid plays an important role in the overall functioning of the body. Located in the front of the neck, this butterfly-shaped gland that secretes hormones through the bloodstream that helps regulate the function of every cell and organ in the body. Pretty important, right? That is why it is crucial to know what symptoms to look for, and when to seek treatment.
Know the signs.
Many women have a thyroid disease but don’t even know it. Since the thyroid influences so many of the body’s functions, symptoms of thyroid malfunction can seem unrelated, and in turn, be misdiagnosed.
Dr. Mark Castellaw, with the Baptist Medical Group in Memphis, reports that women often report small changes, like their hair appears lifeless, or their skin is always dry. Dr. Castellaw explains, “oftentimes that’s related to a thyroid disorder.”
Here are some other important signs to be aware of:
- chronic headaches
- rapid weight gain or loss
- swelling in the neck
- changes in heart rate
- hair loss
- mood changes
- feeling too cold or too hot
These can seem relatively unimportant, but your body could be telling you something. If you notice a number of these symptoms and you are concerned with your risk for thyroid disease, schedule an appointment with your doctor to request a thyroid screening. Know the signs of thyroid disease, be aware of the risks and get proactive.