The thyroid is a gland in the neck area (just below the adam's apple) that plays a major role in the human body at all times. The gland itself is responsible for the production of hormones called thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which are essential to the cells in the body and important to the control of the metabolism. The thyroxine hormone is converted to triiodothyronine, so in essence that means the thyroid is responsible for the producing of both.
The overproduction of hormones created by the thyroid (or lack thereof) can cause a variety of symptoms and conditions that are often associated to other things. These symptoms and conditions can range from body chills, weight gain, weight loss to frequent fatigue, depression, cloudy thoughts and anxiety. Since these symptoms can pretty much be in existence due to a plethora of possibilities, thyroid disorders can hide in plain sight.
Hypothyroidism - This condition is when the thyroid doesn't produce enough thyroxine needed to regulate the metabolism properly. You may feel tired often, experience weight gain or be sensitive to the cold. This can also affect the strength of your nails and hair making them both brittle and fragile. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. In this disease, the body turns on itself and goes into "attack mode" thinking that the thyroid is a virus. Because of this, the thyroid suffers and is not able to perform it's full duty and the production of hormones is diminished. The main effect on the body includes the slowing down of the metabolism, which in turn causes weight gain or difficulty losing weight. Hypothyroidism is also called under active thyroid.
So What Can I Do?
Don't Ignore It - Too many times, individuals may disregard certain symptoms that they have gotten use to and chalk it up to things such as aging or stress. People with thyroid disorders may have no idea that something as simple as feeling cold all the time or having trouble sleeping could be related to a thyroid problem.
Be Honest With Your Doctor - A doctor can identify a possible thyroid problem by listening to the symptoms that you experience and how frequently. So it's important to be open and honest with your doctor so they can lead you down the right path. If there is a possibility that you have a thyroid problem, your doctor may suggest a blood test to find out for sure. If your hormone levels are abnormal, more testing may be required.
Thyroid disorders can hide in plain sight so listen to what your body is telling you. Do not risk the early detection of a problem by not being proactive!