There is no easy way for you to tell if you have a thyroid problem without making a trip to have your symptoms checked out by a doctor. You can easily tell if you have some of the symptoms of a potential thyroid problem on your own, but it will ultimately require a doctor to determine if the thyroid is the actual source of the issue. Read on to learn some of the common symptoms of thyroid problems and how you should seek treatment.
What is the Thyroid?
The thyroid is a gland that is responsible for hormone production. This gland produces a hormone that controls the body’s use of energy, the production of proteins, and affects how the body makes use of other hormones. Proper function of your thyroid is necessary to regulate your energy levels, metabolism, and many other aspects of your general body function. When the body has a problem with the thyroid, you may have too much or too little of the thyroid hormone, which results in a variety of symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Thyroid Problems
One of the biggest troubles with identifying the symptoms of most thyroid problems is the fact that the symptoms are fairly common in many other types of conditions. The symptoms could indicate a problem with the thyroid, but the symptoms could just as easily be the result of another problem like cancer, dehydration, malnutrition, or sleeping problems. Several symptoms of thyroid issues include unexplained weight loss or gain, rapid heartbeat, trouble eating or increased appetite, fatigue, trouble sleeping, or unexplained muscle pains. The signs and symptoms lie to one extreme or another, depending on whether your thyroid is producing too much or too little of the hormone.
Try To Identify Alternate Causes of the Symptoms
It is worthwhile to see on your own if these symptoms have any other potential causes. Many of the symptoms of a thyroid problem could easily be attributed to stress, insomnia, a poor diet, or any other type of problem that you might be able to fix without making an appointment with a doctor. You should begin by making a few changes to your lifestyle and see if that makes any difference to your symptoms. Many of the symptoms may go away if you start to live a healthier, low-stress life. However, if you are still suffering from unexplained symptoms after you’ve made these changes, then you should make an appointment to get checked out by a doctor.
What Can Your Doctors Do if They Suspect a Thyroid Problem?
A doctor can quickly and easily assess your thyroid hormone levels with a simple blood test. The blood test results will indicate whether or not your thyroid is producing normal levels of hormones. This will be the first step to seeing if there is any type of problem. Next, based on the results of the test, your doctor may recommend additional stages of testing. The next option is to do a thyroid scan. Your doctor can use an ultrasound machine to get a closer inspection of the tissue.
If the results of these tests indicate a severe problem, the doctor may want to do a biopsy of the thyroid tissue to see if there is a major problem such as thyroid cancer. All of these tests are very accurate and definitive ways to determine whether or not you have a problem. No doctor will diagnose a thyroid condition based on the signs and symptoms alone. The symptoms are far too common to apply specifically to a thyroid condition, which is why they will have to run additional tests.