According to the American Thyroid Association, over 12 percent of the American population will develop some form of thyroid disease during their life. Therefore, it is important that Americans, and the world at large, be well aware of and informed of the different forms of thyroid disease.
The most common forms of thyroid disorders can be categorized into two groups and should be understood by all. Greater awareness of thyroid disease and taking advantage of the many powerful informational resources available can help reduce the impact of widespread thyroid dysfunction.
The Various Forms of Thyroid Disease
Both conditions alter the thyroid’s ability to produce thyroid hormones. These hormones influence nearly every aspect of the body including weight management, energy usage, neurological function, sleep, and many others. The two conditions have mirrored and profound impact on the thyroid and subsequently the rest of the body.
An underactive thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism, is typified by decreased availability of thyroid hormones resulting in an overall slowing of bodily function.
The condition can be caused poor thyroid hormone production, reduced conversion of inactive thyroid hormone (T4) into the active form (T3), inhibited hormone receptivity, nutritional deficiencies, and other factors. Conditions such as diabetes, insulin resistance, depression, and chronic conditions can also contribute to thyroid disease.
A decrease in thyroid function caused by hypothyroidism brings with it many symptoms, including:
- Sensitivity to cold temperatures
- Difficulty losing weight
- Weight gain
- Muscle and joint pain or weakness
- Difficulty thinking clearly
- Brittle hair and nails
- Thinning hair
- Low libido
In contrast to hypothyroidism, an overactive thyroid is known as hyperthyroidism. Increased thyroid production results in a hastening of your metabolism and other bodily functions. As the amount of thyroid hormone in the form of both T4 and T3 increases, the body becomes hyperactive causing patients to suffer from jitteriness, aggressive and ineffective nutrient consumption, and dangerous energy crashes.
Contributing factors of hyperthyroidism include thyroid nodules, thyroiditis, Plummer’s disease, over-conversion of T4 to T3, liver dysfunction, nutrient deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity, and others. The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is an autoimmune condition known as Graves’ disease.
As thyroid activity continues to increase, the body can suffer from a variety of different symptoms, including:
- Anxiety and/or panic attacks
- Inability to gain weight
- Sudden weight loss
- Excessive sweating
- Irregular or total loss of menstruation
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Easily triggered reflexes or jumpiness
- Fluctuating highs and lows in energy level
Defeating Thyroid Disease Through Awareness and Understanding
A major difficulty associated with thyroid dysfunction is the severe lack of awareness. This brief overview is just a glimpse into the world of thyroid disease. To truly understand thyroid dysfunction and improve overall thyroid knowledge further steps must be taken!
Thyroid 101 is an easy to read e-book that provides a wealth of information regarding thyroid disease and many other topics associated with the thyroid. By absorbing the information provided by this free e-book, you can gain a greater understanding of the thyroid including the many diseases associated with it, appropriate testing and treatment, and ways to find further support.
Utilizing resources such as Thyroid 101 increases your personal understanding of the thyroid and can help you raise awareness of thyroid disease.