January is Thyroid Awareness Month

Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 7:23 PM EST
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January is Thyroid Awareness Month. In this week’s Medical Monday, Kathy McCarty has more on the signs and symptoms to watch for.

The thyroid is one of the most important endocrine glands in the body, located in the lower part of the neck, just above the breastbone. Dr. Rashid Cheema says it creates a hormone vital for bodily functions.

“It controls metabolism, um, it has effect on how we feel, um, um. It has, um, effect on the heart, um, it, ah, has effect on, um, digestion of food, um, your mood, uh, uh, temperature regulation, uh, weight management,” says Dr. Rashid Cheema, Consulting Endocrinologist with Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital.

How frequently one needs their thyroid checked depends on whether they’re exhibiting signs of an under- or over-active thyroid.

“Common symptoms of under-active thyroid can be you feel more fatigued and tired and, uh, you don’t have explanation for that. Um, start gaining weight despite any significant change in lifestyle. Uh, start feeling more cold, even in warm weather. Um, heart rate can be slow, which can make you feel more sluggish. You can have a With an over-active thyroid, other extremes are common.

“Everything becomes kind of fast and hot with over-active thyroid. Uh, you can’t sleep because you’re very anxious, you just can’t put your mind to rest. Uh, can have heart palpitations where you feel like your heart is fluttering in your chest. Uh, can have diarrhea. You start losing weight, um, uh, without any intentions to lose weight,” says Dr. Cheema.

Dr. Cheema says thyroid issues are more common for women or those with auto-immune conditions. Certain medications can affect thyroid numbers. Medication and other measures are used to treat both under- and over-active thyroids. For more information, speak with your primary care provider. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

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