Thyroid Disease Awareness!
About your thyroid1…
· Butterfly-shaped gland located just below the Adam’s apple.
· Makes and secretes thyroid hormone into the blood stream
o Two forms of thyroid hormone:
§ T4 (thyroxine)
§ T3 (triiodothyronine)
· The thyroid gland increases activity in response to thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
o TSH - hormone released by the brain
· A healthy thyroid gland is vitally important to the body’s overall well-being
What does thyroid hormone do?
· Similar to a car engine, thyroid hormone sets the pace at which your body operates1
o More thyroid hormone (T3 and T4) “speeds up” the body’s systems
· It influences the function of many of the body’s most important organs
o Heart, brain, liver, kidneys, and skin
What can go wrong?
· Disease, damage, and certain medications can cause the thyroid to perform improperly:
o Hyperthyroidism - thyroid gland is overactive and is producing too much thyroid hormone
o Hypothyroidism - thyroid gland is underactive and is not producing enough thyroid hormone
How do you know if you have a thyroid problem?
· A blood test (TSH level) is the best way to tell if the thyroid is functioning properly because the symptoms of hyper- and hypothyroidism are not specific to thyroid disease
· Symptoms of hyperthyroidism:
o Rapid, irregular heartbeat
o Anxiety, irritability, trouble sleeping
o Frequent bowel movements, weight loss
o Swollen thyroid gland, nodules on thyroid gland
· Symptoms of hypothyroidism:
o Fatigue, cold intolerance, weight gain, constipation
o Swollen thyroid gland
How do I prevent thyroid disease?
· Making sure your iodine intake is sufficient (150 mcg per day)
· Ask your provider about getting a thyroid screening test if:
o Someone in your immediate family has had thyroid disease
o You are taking medications that might cause thyroid (lithium or amiodarone)
o You can feel nodules or swelling on your thyroid gland
o You have had radiation treatment on your head or neck
o You are experiencing many of the hyper- and hypothyroidism symptoms listed above
Please ask your Degen Berglund pharmacist if you have any questions about your thyroid function!