January is National Thyroid Awareness Month – a great time to make sure your thyroid is healthy and functioning well.
Trouble sleeping, fluctuating weight, changes in mood… For most people, these problems become all too familiar as we age. Some of these changes may be related to lifestyle or changing hormones. But sometimes these symptoms can be a sign of a problem with your thyroid.
“The thyroid regulates several bodily functions, including your body’s temperature, metabolism, and heartbeat,” explains Dr. Samira Kirmiz, an endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism doctor with Mercy Medical Group. “For most of us, our thyroids function normally our whole life. However, according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, an estimated 30 million Americans have a thyroid disorder.
The thyroid produces thyroid hormone (TH). When a thyroid is sluggish, it produces too little TH – this is known as hypothyroidism. If the thyroid is too amped up, it produces too much TH – which is known as hyperthyroidism. Many things can cause a thyroid to go haywire, including genetics, pregnancy, an autoimmune problem.
Because the thyroid affects so many functions throughout the body. If you are experiencing symptoms a blood test can be done to diagnose a thyroid problem.
When the thyroid is overactive, you may feel unusually jittery and anxious. Because hyperthyroidism kicks your metabolism into overdrive, it can cause you to feel like you can’t relax. This hyper feeling can also involve an unusually fast heartbeat or heart palpitations or fluttery feelings in the chest or neck. Hyperthyroidism can also increase your appetite.
“Signs of hypothyroidism can be fatigue you may also have dry skin, changes in bowel movements and menstruation” says Dr. Kirmiz. As with most unusual or new symptoms, if you are experiencing any of these things on a regular basis, you should visit your doctor to discuss it more thoroughly.”
Samira Kirmiz, MD, is an endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism doctor with Mercy Medical Group, located at 6620 Coyle Avenue, Suite 218 in Carmichael. For more information, or to book an appointment, visit MyMercyMedicalGroup.org or call 916.844.3660.