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Symptoms of Thyroid Problems and Disease

An estimated 20 million Americans have a thyroid disorder, and women are more likely to be affected. According to the American Thyroid Association, up to 60% of people with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition.

“The thyroid is an endocrine organ that sits at the base of the neck and secretes hormones that are responsible for maintaining one's metabolism,” Dr. Rachel Kilpatrick of Washington Regional Endocrinology Clinic explains.

“At our clinic, we treat a number of different thyroid conditions. We take care of patients who have Grave’s disease which is a common cause of hyperthyroidism, meaning the thyroid is overactive.”

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Feeling anxious
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Weight loss
  • Feeling too hot
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty sleeping

“We also see patients who have Hashimoto’s disease which can cause hypothyroidism, where the thyroid is underactive and not making enough thyroid hormone,” Dr. Kilpatrick says.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include:

  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Feeling extremely tired or lethargic
  • Foggy thinking
  • Cold intolerance

Dr. Kilpatrick says that if you have signs or symptoms of a thyroid condition, it's important to see your primary care provider. “Your physician can run a simple blood test to look for thyroid hormone dysfunction and refer you to an endocrinologist for further treatment if needed.”