Thyroid disease symptoms
SMH, October 21, 2010
Too many women don’t get treated for common conditions because they don’t recognise the symptoms. Tired, forgetful, sensitive to cold? That could mean an underactive thyroid.
Here’s a look at some of the issues doctors would like women to know more about:
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland in the neck that helps set the metabolism – the rate at which your body gets energy from the foods you eat. An underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, is the most common thyroid disease in women. The symptoms are mild weight gain, fatigue, poor memory, constipation, dry skin, abnormal menstrual cycles and sensitivity to cold. An overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, makes you lose weight, speeds up your heart rate and leaves you sensitive to heat.
What to do?
Request a blood test for thyroid disease as part of your annual physical. If you do have thyroid disease, your doctor may prescribe thyroid hormone replacement in the form of a daily pill. You often have to get tested a few times before your doctor sets the right dose. Once it is set, you can usually wait a year before testing again.