Bangor, Maine – It is estimated that approximately two to three percent of Americans have an underactive thyroid, making this condition one of today’s most common thyroid disorders. Early awareness of the condition and proper medical attention can help balance the effect of underactive thyroid.
The thyroid gland, located in the lower part of the neck, produces chemicals that are necessary for normal growth and mental development in children, and helps maintain a normal metabolic rate in both children and adults.
Thyroid disease results in either an over production or under production of hormones which can affect a person’s energy level, mood, weight, sleep patterns, skin texture, and body temperature. People with an underactive thyroid may experience fatigue, poor memory, drier skin, coarse hair, weight gain or difficulty losing weight. Overactive thyroid symptoms include irritability, heat intolerance, fatigue, weakness, and weight loss with increased appetite.
People experiencing these symptoms should talk to their primary care provider. “Your physician may test for thyroid problems with a blood test, ultrasound imaging, or both,” explains Katarzyna Sadurska, MD, lead physician at EMMC’s Diabetes and Nutrition practice. “You may also be referred to an endocrinologist for an expert consultation and management of thyroid disease. Most thyroid problems once diagnosed can be treated, leading to restoration of normal health and wellbeing.”