Navigating Thyroid Disease Awareness Month: Testing Options And Education for Better Health

January 3, 2023

Women at AFC Urgent Care Natick getting ready to be tested for thyroid disease

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the lower front of the neck. Sadly, millions of Americans are diagnosed with a Thyroid condition. Thyroid disease is a common endocrine disorder, and can cause a wide range of symptoms, from fatigue and weight gain to depression and anxiety. Being educated on Thyroid Disease will help you better understand the cause, symptoms, and treatments available. 

You may be at a higher risk of developing a thyroid condition if you:

  • Have a family history of thyroid disease.
  • Have a medical condition (these can include pernicious anemia, Type 1 diabetes, primary adrenal insufficiency, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome and Turner syndrome).
  • Take a medication that’s high in iodine (amiodarone).
  • Are older than 60, especially in women.
  • Have had treatment for a past thyroid condition or cancer (thyroidectomy or radiation).

Education is important. With that being said, AFC Urgent Care Natick has come up with a comprehensive guide to help you understand thyroid disease causes, symptoms, and testing options. 

What Happens If You Have Thyroid Disease?

The Thyroid gland produces two main hormones : triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Once the Thyroid starts to overproduce hormones (Hyperthyroidism) or once the gland starts to underproduce hormones (hypothyroidism) a thyroid condition is more than likely to  occur.

 Other Thyroid Diseases, such as 

  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
  •  thyroid cancer 
  • Thyroid tumors 

Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism are the two common categories when dealing with Thyroid disease.

Hypothyroidism:

With hypothyroidism your thyroid gland can’t make enough hormones to function well.. In hypothyroidism, the gland’s hormone production slows. This, in turn, slows your metabolism, which can lead to weight gain and other symptoms. 

Hyperthyroidism:

As its name suggests, hyperthyroidism occurs when your body makes too much of the thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), and becomes overactive. If you have hyperthyroidism, you may experience a fast heartbeat, increased appetite, anxiety, sensitivity to heat, or sudden weight loss.

  

The Warning Signs Of Thyroid Disease

Thyroid disease symptoms can be easily mistaken for other common diseases or illnesses. If you experience the following symptoms, it’s highly recommended to seek medical attention. 

  • Having muscle weakness and tremors.
  • Experiencing irregular menstrual periods or having your menstrual cycle stop.
  • Feeling sensitive to heat.
  • Having vision problems or eye irritation.
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Having dry and coarse hair.
  • Having a hoarse voice.
  • Experiencing an intolerance to cold temperatures.
  • Feeling fatigue 
  • Gaining weight

Testing For Thyroid Disease

Our medical professional at AFC Urgent Care Natick will perform various exams. Some exams include : 

Blood tests - Thyroid blood tests are used to tell if your thyroid gland is functioning properly by measuring the amount of thyroid hormones in your blood. 

Physical exams - . This is a painless test where the medical professional feels your gland to see if there is any abnormality. 

Medical History - The medical history is important to review because it can cross out any other potential conditions

Should I be worried if I have a Thyroid condition? 

It depends…Thyroid disease will not interrupt a normal lifestyle. Exercising is advisable and a thyroid condition will not impact any exercise routine. It’s important to know how to manage the condition and to be aware of some of the changes you may have to do to maintain the normality of your life. 

How can AFC Urgent Care Natick Can Help Check Your Thyroid

Getting your thyroid checked should not be delayed for when it becomes a serious health problem. For this reason, AFC Urgent Care Natick wants to make sure you stay informed and get your thyroid checked at our urgent care center any day of the week. 


Our doors are open 7 days a week and we take in walk-ins as well as appointments. Our medical providers will take a blood test, perform a full checkup, and check your vitals to evaluate you for thyroid disease. If you do end up developing a thyroid condition, know that with the right steps and treatment, you can manage it in the long run. 

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