Feeling Too Amped? It Could Be Your Thyroid
At the Women’s Health Medical Group thyroid screening is one of the typical screenings we do to check that the thyroid is functioning normally. This is important because the hormones released by the thyroid control energy level, menstrual regularity, temperature control, weight gain/loss, heart rate, breathing, and bowel function, among other things. Too much thyroid hormones and you have hyperthyroidism, too little and you have hypothyroidism.
What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck. The hormones the thyroid makes control how the body uses energy. Most importantly, the thyroid controls your metabolism, which is how your body converts food into energy. Metabolism goes beyond just food, however, affecting your heart, muscles, bones, and cholesterol levels.
The most common thyroid problems come from abnormal production of thyroid hormones. The conditions resulting from thyroid problems can be uncomfortable, but most can be managed effectively.
What is hyperthyroidism?
If the thyroid gets too busy and produces too much thyroid hormone, the result is hyperthyroidism. This condition affects women five to 10 times more than men, and is more common in women under 40.
As you would expect with overproduction of hormones, hyperthyroidism makes your body act like it’s amped up. The organs can become over active — you feel hot often, sweat much more, your heartbeat elevates, you lose weight, and you can develop eye problems.
Cause of hyperthyroidism
Overproduction of the thyroid can have many different causes.
- Graves’ disease — This is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks the thyroid, which reacts by overproducing.
- Subacute thyroiditis — This is an inflammation of the thyroid that causes the gland to grow and leak excess hormones. The condition is usually temporary.
- Silent thyroiditis — This is a temporary condition where the thyroid overproduces, but it can actually damage the gland.
- Postpartum thyroiditis — Sometimes within months of delivery the thyroid overproduces for a few months. This is followed by several months where the thyroid then under-produces. Most women eventually return to normal thyroid function.
- Ingestion of excess thyroid hormone — This can cause hyperthyroidism.
Feeling as if your body temperature is elevated or that your heartbeat is jumping? You could have hyperthyroidism. Call us at the Women’s Health Medical Group, 817-346-5336, and let’s test your thyroid production levels.