Thyroid disorders and the chaos they cause

The thyroid is a small gland located in the front of your neck and throat. It’s a small gland that usually weighs less than 30 grams. If it’s functioning normally, you barely know about it, but if there’s a problem with it, it can wreak havoc with your body.

As small as it is, the thyroid has a huge role in our body’s function: it produces hormones that have an effect on metabolism, regulates calcium and phosphorus levels, produces proteins, maintains bone strength and controls body temperature.

Thyroid problems are more common in women than they are in men and they can be the result of too much or too little of the thyroid hormone called thyroxine. We outline three different types of thyroid disorders below:

Hypothyroidism

Occurring mainly in women aged 30 to 50 years old, hypothyroidism is the result of a reduced level of thyroxine.

Symptoms: Fatigue, weight gain, constipation, body aches, dry skin, fluid retention, depression.

Diagnosis & treatment: Because these symptoms are associated with a slow metabolism, hypothyroidism can go undetected for years. If you suspect you have hypothyroidism, ask your doctor to be tested. Treatment includes a daily tablet that controls thyroxine levels.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism occurs more often in younger women, aged 20...

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