Did you know that thyroid disorders affect one in every 20 people in the UK? Take a thyroid test today and protect yourself from its long-term health problems.
The thyroid gland in your neck controls the body’s levels of metabolism through your thyroid hormone, as well as the body’s growth in early years. By determining the rate at which your body releases its energy, the thyroid gland can control your weight. If the thyroid gland becomes overactive, it causes hyperthyroidism which results in weight loss. Two percent of women and 0.2 percent of men are affected by hyperthyroidism. If the thyroid gland becomes underactive, it causes hypothyroidism which can result in unexplained weight gain and sleep problems. Two percent of women and one percent of men are affected by hypothyroidism.
Causes and symptoms
The thyroid gland produces several hormones, the main two of which include triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Small levels of T1 and T2 are also produced, although their main function is not yet known. T3 is the body’s most active hormone, and ensures the continuous regulation of the body’s metabolism. T4 is known as a pro-hormone because it remains inactive in the body until it is converted into T4. If the thyroid gland produces too much T4 or too little T4, it can lead to a hyperthyroidism condition or a hypothyroidism condition.
The main symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- Weight loss
- Excessive sweating
- Heat intolerance
- Irregular periods
- A rapid heartbeat
- Muscle weakness
They main symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Weight gain
- Depression or anxiety
- Sleep problems or exhaustion
- Dry skin, hair or nails
- Poor libido
- A cold intolerance
- Difficulty concentrating
Hypothyroidism usually occurs in people over the age of 40, is ten times more common in women than it is in men. It also has the added risks of leading to heart disease and high cholesterol.
Tests and treatment
To treat hyperthyroidism, you may need to take medication which reduces the production of the thyroid hormone (levothyroxine), take a course of radioactive iodine therapy or undergo a surgical procedure to remove part of the thyroid gland, known as a thyroidectomy. To treat hypothyroidism, you can take a course of thyroid hormone medication.
Blood tests and scans are the only way to determine a thyroid condition, as it is difficult to prevent. If you suspect that you may have a thyroid condition, you can take a simple finger prick blood test to determine the levels of the T3 and T4 thyroid hormones your body is producing.
TestDiagnostics offers a simple and accurate Thyroid Test which measures antibodies in your blood which attack the thyroid gland. Our test uses ELISA technology to test for these antibodies to the thyroid peroxidase (TPA) enzyme, which is involved in the synthesis of the thyroid hormones.
- What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a gland situated in your neck which controls your metabolism levels by producing a number of different hormones.
- What is hyperthyroidism and what are its symptoms?
When the thyroid gland produces too many hormones it results in hyperthyroidism. Its main symptoms are weight loss, heat intolerance and anxiety.
- What is hypothyroidism and what are its symptoms?
When the thyroid gland produces too few hormones it results in hypothyroidism. Its main symptoms are weight gain, depression and constipation.
- Can thyroid problems be prevented?
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent developing a thyroid condition. The best you can do is to regularly take a thyroid test as hyper- and hypothyroidism are easy to treat if you are aware that you have developed the condition.
- What does a thyroid test check for?
A thyroid test checks for the levels of thyroid hormone your body produces. A lack of hormone or an excess in the amount of hormones that are being produced are an indication of a thyroid condition.