Thyroid-related problems such as thyroid cancer, hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone level), and hyperthyroidism (high thyroid hormone level) are potentially life-threatening conditions that need early detection and immediate treatment. It is estimated that some 12% of all individuals experience a form of thyroid problem at one point, with a great majority of those affected being women.
To date, thyroid-related diseases are treated with hormones that allow the thyroid gland to function normally while in some cases, surgery or chemotherapy is performed on the patient. When detected and managed early, thyroid disease can be prevented to become a full-on life-threatening condition. But, just how do you when you or someone you know has such a disease?
The key lies in the early signs and symptoms of thyroid cancer, hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism. Here are five such tell-tale indicators that people with symptoms of thyroid problems in Salt Lake City and other locations should look out for:
Significant and rapid weight gain or loss
Among the most observable signs of thyroid problems is rapid and significant weight gain or weight loss. In hypothyroidism, an individual experiences sudden weight gain while in the case of hyperthyroidism, affected persons report abrupt weight loss. So, if you or someone you know suddenly showed any of these signs, then it’s a good cue to consult with an endocrinologist for proper advice.
Loss of sleep and lethargy
Have you been feeling lethargic for the past few weeks? Do you find it hard to sleep no matter how tired you are? If you feel any or both of these things, then you could be suffering from thyroid disease. Sluggishness and exhaustion are also potential signs of thyroid problems, especially if the individual feels such despite having rested well.
Pronounced enlargement or swelling in the neck is almost certainly caused by a thyroid problem. This condition is popularly known as goiter and is something that occurs with thyroid cancer, hyperthyroidism, and hypothyroidism. So, when you see such enlargement or swelling in your neck or that of someone you know, the proper thing to do is to consult a specialist to examine the lump and determine if it’s caused by a thyroid disorder.
Trouble swallowing and breathing
Difficulty in breathing and swallowing are potentially caused by thyroid cancer. Take note these symptoms should occur many times and not just once to cause worry. Repeated experience of these symptoms should prompt the individual to immediately consult with a specialist since delayed detection and treatment could lead to eventual death.
If your heartbeat is either faster or slower than normal, it could be because you have a form of thyroid disorder. People with hyperthyroidism experience unusually fast heartbeat while those with hypothyroidism report unusually slow heart rate. In any case, a quick trip to your trusted doctor could help determine whether or not such a symptom is just a passing thing or if potential thyroid disease is causing it.
As with any other illnesses, early detection, management, and treatment are critical to survival. Knowing this, you need to watch out for these signs and other related symptoms of thyroid problems.