GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – More than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop some form of thyroid disease during their lifetime, according to the American Thyroid Association. A West Michigan doctor recommends keeping an eye on yours.
The thyroid, a small gland located in the lower part of your neck, regulates metabolism, controls heart rate and body temperature, according to Dr. Olesya Krivospitskaya, who practices endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism in internal medicine at the University of Michigan Health-West.
She said the most common dysfunctions are an overactive thyroid, known as hyperthyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, known as hypothyroidism.
“With hyperthyroidism, you may typically experience unexplained weight loss, increased heart rate, anxiety, poor sleep, tremors in the hands, loose stools, increased heart rate,” says Krivospitskaya.
With underactive thyroid function, the doctor said the symptoms were just the opposite, including extreme fatigue, weight gain, slow heartbeat, constipation, or feeling permanently tired.
“A lot of times there’s a family history of thyroid problems because thyroid disease, most of the time, is autoimmune and there’s often a very strong family history,” Krivospitskaya said.
Because of this, there is not much you can do to prevent it.
“Unfortunately, we have no control over whether or not you develop thyroid disease. So if there is a family predisposition to it, it is simply recommended that you regularly check your thyroid hormone levels and ‘be aware of the symptoms as they develop so that the thyroid condition can be diagnosed and treated appropriately,’ she said.