You’ve probably not given it much thought or even realized it was there, but your thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck. It may be tiny, but it’s a powerful force in your body that produces vital hormones. The hormones secreted by the thyroid affect nearly every system in your body, including your kidneys, and when your thyroid isn’t working normally, your health may suffer. More women are likely to suffer from thyroid issues, with nearly one in eight women developing a thyroid problem in her lifetime, especially after pregnancy or menopause.
Thyroid disorders have different symptoms that gradually grow in intensity. It may take several months of symptoms before you begin to realize that there may be an issue. Watch out for:
These symptoms could be a sign of a thyroid issue. Several disorders can stem from problems with this gland. Here are two common ones:
According to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. Thyroid problems, however, can be difficult to detect, and it often takes months of consistent struggle before patients seek treatment. Carefully monitoring your thyroid health throughout your life is an excellent way to stay healthy, especially for women.
Once a thyroid issue has been identified, taking any prescribed medication under the same conditions and at the same time each day is key to successfully managing a thyroid condition. Pay close attention to medication instructions, such as if you’re instructed to take your medication on an empty stomach. Food and other medications can interfere with the absorption of some types of thyroid medications. If you’re taking a thyroid medication regularly, you’ll be monitored by a physician who can adjust your medications as needed.