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The Unseen Impact of Thyroid Disease

Written by Annie Keese
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What do you hope to get out of a wellness visit? Are you looking to get a general sense of where your health is at this moment in time? We know when our body is dealing with a virus when a fever spikes, or we’re generally clued in to whether or not we are in good cardiovascular health based on a trip up a staircase. These things aren’t a surprise! But in a wellness visit, there’s a much bigger story that your Provider can see.

PCP’s are looking for trends in your health and clues to underlying conditions that may be hiding behind vague symptoms.

Since January is National Thyroid Disease Awareness Month, let’s learn a little bit more about the reality of Thyroid Disease and Disorders. It’s likely much more widespread than you realize!

Am I Just Stressed?

Thyroid Disease has a whole host of symptoms that could be attributed to stress. A racing heart, difficulty sleeping, weight gain/loss, fatigue, and mood are just symptoms of our modern lives, right? Yes they are! But, in some cases, anxiety shows similar symptoms to thyroid disease. That’s why we encourage you to talk honestly with a trusted medical provider about what you are experiencing in your day to day. Why struggle with these symptoms needlessly if treating a diagnosed thyroid disease can bring relief?

According to the American Thyroid Association, “more than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime.” While it doesn’t get often get a spotlight, Thyroid Diseases certainly affect a large part of our population.

Recent medical studies show that Thyroid disorders and diseases are often diagnosed in people 20-30 years old and symptoms come on very slowly.

Should I Check My Thyroid Levels?

Yes! If you are concerned, schedule a visit with your provider! Providers can test thyroid levels that will reveal if you have an over or underactive thyroid. You’ll have clarity to know how to address the symptoms you are experiencing and be able to take a specific approach to treating the root problem.

Many people go undiagnosed, struggling for years to remedy a problem with no cause.

Need proof? Take a look at these 8 unseen impacts it has on our society:

  • An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease.
  • Up to 60 percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition.
  • Women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems.
  • One woman in eight will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime.
  • The causes of thyroid problems are largely unknown.
  • Undiagnosed thyroid disease may put patients at risk for certain serious conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and infertility.
  • Pregnant women with undiagnosed or inadequately treated hypothyroidism have an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery, and severe developmental problems in their children.
  • Most thyroid diseases are life-long conditions that can be managed with medical attention.

provided by the American Thyroid Association

What can I do about Thyroid Disease?

In many cases, you can manage and treat thyroid issues with diet, medication, and healthy lifestyle choices! Maybe that’s why we don’t talk about thyroid disease as often as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer. Thyroid diseases are manageable. Patients improve their quality of life just by being aware of the problem and beginning a form of treatment.

Make an appointment for your 2022 wellness exam and don’t be afraid to ask about thyroid health! Call you nearest clinic to set up your next appointment.

Learn more from the Mayo Clinic about how mood can be affected in Thyroid Disease: Can It Affect A Person’s Mood.

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