Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center provides you with the information you need to know about thyroid disease
What is your thyroid?
The thyroid is a small gland in the front of the neck, below the Adam’s apple, that is shaped like a butterfly. It produces several different hormones that are important for functions like growth and brain development, temperature control, how fast your heart beats and how the body uses and stores energy.
What is thyroid disease?
There are many different diseases that can affect the thyroid. Here are the characteristics and symptoms of the most common thyroid disorders:
- Goiter – A goiter is the term used for a very large, swollen thyroid gland. Often, it is large enough to be seen and can feel uncomfortable, making it difficult to breathe or swallow. Sometimes a goiter may go away on its own or it may be the result of a more serious thyroid problem.
- Hypothyroidism – This occurs when the thyroid is underactive and does not produce enough of the thyroid hormones. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can develop very slowly, sometimes over the course of a few years, and include extreme tiredness, weakness, unusual weight gain, thinning hair, a hoarse voice and feeling unusually cold.
- Hyperthyroidism – This occurs when the thyroid is overactive and produces too much of the thyroid hormones. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism also tend to develop slowly and can lead to symptoms such as unusual weight loss, increased appetite, difficulty sleeping, feeling unusually hot, excessive sweating, rapid heartbeat and redness, irritation or bulging of the eyes.
- Thyroid cancer – Often cancer of the thyroid may not present any symptoms at all, or you may experience swelling or pain in the throat or neck or difficulty swallowing. Those who have had previous radiation therapy, who have had a goiter or who have a family history are at the highest risk of developing thyroid cancer.
How to check for thyroid disease
The easiest way for a doctor to determine if there is an issue with your thyroid is to perform a blood test to check the levels of the different thyroid hormones that your body is producing. Any imbalances will prompt the doctor to perform further tests.
You can also check for goiters, nodules or suspicious lumps at home by performing this easy neck check:
- While facing a mirror, focus on the area just above the collarbones and below the Adam’s apple. This is where the thyroid is located.
- Tilt your head back and take a sip of water. Watch this area in the mirror while swallowing and see if you notice any abnormal lumps or protrusions. Don’t confuse your Adam’s apple for your thyroid. The thyroid is farther down your neck.
- Repeat this process several times.
- If you notice anything unusual, make an appointment to see your doctor.
Velocity Care has a team of board-certified health care professionals that are available to help you with all of your health care needs. If you have any symptoms of thyroid disease, notice any suspicious lumps while performing a self-check or have any questions or concerns, we are here to help. Your well-being is our primary concern. Visit www.velocitycare.com/locations today to find the urgent care walk-in clinic nearest you.
Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo
This site offers medical, health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your health care professional.