Your thyroid, an endocrine gland, makes hormones. It is shaped like a butterfly and sits in your neck, just above your collarbone. The underproduction or overproduction of thyroid hormones can lead to health conditions and weaken the delicate balance of your metabolism.
It may be surprising to know that of the millions suffering with thyroid diseases, most people who suffer from thyroid diseases in the United States are women. The results of having a thyroid disease include an inefficient use of energy. Either your body will use it more slowly or more quickly than it should.
Women are five to eight times more likely to have thyroid dysfunction than men, and many have it without ever realizing they do. Many women chalk up their fatigue, depression or low energy to other circumstances and conditions, for example. The ATA (American Thyroid Association) estimates that more than half of thyroid conditions remain undiagnosed.
Hypothyroidism is more common, and this is when the gland is not active enough. This condition can make you feel sluggish and cause you to gain weight. It can also make you feel tired and have trouble with colder temperatures. On the other hand, if you have hyperthyroidism, it means your thyroid is too active. It is producing too much hormone.
Symptoms of this condition include weight loss, a speedy heart rate, and a sensitivity to hotter temperatures. There are many causes for both conditions. Treatment involves trying to reset your body's metabolism to a normal rate.
The most common example of hyperthyroidism is Graves' disease. According to MayoClinic.com, the attack of the immune system on the thyroid gland causes the disease to develop. It is the extra hormones that are released during the attack which increase the metabolism. The resulting symptoms may include increased appetite, weight loss, nervousness.
The thyroid gland is also responsible for thyroid disorders in children. The California Pacific Medical Center estimates that one in 4,000 births will be prevalent of congenital hypothyroidism, a condition which occurs before your child is born.