Thyroid Disease Awareness: The Signs, Symptoms And Diagnosis

January 3, 2023

AFC provider at AFC Urgent Care Worcester performing a checkup on female patient for thyroid disease

Thyroid disease is a common endocrine disorder, and can cause a wide range of symptoms, from fatigue and weight gain to depression and anxiety. In some cases, it could potentially lead to more severe health issues. 

AFC Urgent Care Worcester is here to educate you about the warning signs of thyroid disease so you can prevent it. Not only will this guide help you understand the causes, the symptoms, and the testing options available for thyroid disease. But it will also assure you that this disease is manageable. 


The causes of Thyroid disease

Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism are the two common categories of Thyroid disease.


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. 


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.

A thyroid condition occurs when the Thyroid gland produces too much of its hormones or if the gland produces too little of its hormones. 

Conditions that can cause hypothyroidism include:

  • Thyroiditis: This condition is an inflammation (swelling) of the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis can lower the amount of hormones your thyroid produces.
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: A painless disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition where the body’s cells attack and damage the thyroid. This is an inherited condition.
  • Postpartum Thyroiditis: This condition occurs in 5% to 9% of women after childbirth. It’s usually a temporary condition.

Conditions that can cause hyperthyroidism include:

  • Grave’s disease In this condition the entire thyroid gland might be overactive and produce too much hormone. This problem is also called diffuse toxic goiter (enlarged thyroid gland).
  • Nodules Hyperthyroidism can be caused by nodules that are overactive within the thyroid. A single nodule is called a toxic autonomously functioning thyroid nodule, while a gland with several nodules is called a toxic multinodular goiter.


What Are The Symptoms Of Thyroid Disease

Knowing whether or not you have a Thyroid condition can be tricky. The trickery comes when the symptoms are very similar to other medical conditions.  Thyroid Disease symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue 
  • Increase in heart rate  
  • shortness of breath 
  • Rapid or abnormal heartbeat
  • Anxiety
  • Hyperactiveness or restlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Unusual sensitivity to cold
  • Weight loss or unexplained weight gain - Changes in bowel habits
  • Changes in menstruation
  • Changes in skin, including skin texture or color

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, it’s highly advised to get tested by a medical professional.

Is There A Test For Your Thyroid?

These tests are painless and will help both you and the doctor understand what is going on with your thyroid gland. 

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

What To Do If You Have A Thyroid Condition

A thyroid disease is often a life-long medical condition that you will need to manage constantly. This often involves daily medication. Your healthcare provider will monitor your treatments and make adjustments over time. However, you can usually live a normal life with a thyroid disease. It may take some time to find the right treatment option for you and manage your hormone levels, but then people with these types of conditions can usually live life without many restrictions.

Getting Your Thyroid Checked At AFC Urgent Care Worcester

AFC Urgent Care Worcester is your go to urgent care that can help you understand the causes and symptoms of thyroid disease. Our medical providers can help give you a full checkup, and blood work to check to see if you have a thyroid condition or not. If you do, then we can help point you in the right direction for necessary steps to treatment, lifestyle management and other tips for living with a thyroid condition.

Our doors are open 7 days a week and we take in walk-ins as well as appointments. Just walk-in or make an appointment online to get tested for thyroid disease, today!

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