No personal history of thyroid problems does not mean that you cannot have them. Thyroid problems are common and serious, but often undiagnosed, conditions that Americans suffer from. Because of this, you and your family may have a history of thyroid problems that has just gone undiagnosed. Right now, about 13 million Americans have a thyroid problem, but many are totally unaware of it. The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly shaped organ located in your neck. Despite its small appearance, it is one of the more important organs in your body. Among other things, the thyroid gland is important for maintaining a healthy metabolism. Because of this, having a problem with your thyroid gland can have wide and systemic effects on your body.
Symptoms for thyroid disease can cover a broad range. Hypothyroidism symptoms, or symptoms of a sluggish and underproductive thyroid gland, can include constant and unexplained tiredness and weight gain because of a slow metabolism. If you have begun to gain weight for no particular reason, losing weight can be as easy as getting diagnosed with and treated for hypothyroidism. Thyroid imbalances can also go in the other direction. If you have started to rapidly lose weight and feel restless for no obvious reason, you could be experiencing hyperthyroidism, which can be equally unhealthy.
Women are at a far greater risk of experiencing thyroid problems, being about five to eight times more likely to suffer from them as men. Roughly one in eight women will have a thyroid problem at some point in their lives. If you are a woman and have experienced anything like the symptoms described above or any other symptom of a metabolic change without any particular explanation, it may be worth seeing an endocrinologist to make sure that your thyroid is still healthy. A history of thyroid problems in yourself or your family is not necessary to experience them yourself. However, especially if there is a documented history of thyroid problems in yourself or your family, you should be open to the possibility that a change in your thyroid is responsible for health problems that you are experiencing.