January is National Thyroid Awareness Month

Thyroid disorders can wreak havoc on your health, but are treatable.

Thyroid disorders can wreak havoc on your health, but are treatable.

By far, the most common New Year’s resolution in America and perhaps worldwide is to lose weight. But if you’ve had trouble reaching your weight loss goals year after year, it may be something other than your will power that’s to blame. January is National Thyroid Awareness Month, and a top related issue just happens to be hypothyroidism-related weight gain.

Your thyroid is a large, ductless gland in the neck that secretes hormones responsible for regulating growth and development via your metabolism rate. Two primary thyroid disorders are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, both of which can affect your overall health.

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland fails to make enough thyroid hormones, upsetting the normal balance of chemical reactions in your body. Symptoms can take years to appear and most notably include weight gain that cannot otherwise be explained. Despite cutting calories and exercising, the pounds just keep piling on. This can further compound other symptoms including depression, fatigue, constipation, hair loss, constantly feeling cold and irregular menstrual cycles in women.

The flip side of this coin is hyperthyroidism, caused by the thyroid gland producing more thyroid hormones than the body needs. Common symptoms include otherwise unexplained weight loss, diarrhea, palpitations, feeling anxious or jittery, trouble sleeping, excessive sweating, feeling hot and, as with hypothyroidism, irregular periods in women.

“Thyroid disorders are sometimes hard to diagnose, because symptoms of over-active and under-active thyroid may be similar to those associated with aging, depression or other life changing events,” said Zeeshan S. Aziz, MD, a thyroid specialist with St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat. He noted that women are up to five times more likely than men to have a thyroid condition.

The good news is that multiple treatment options exist for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, including anti-thyroid medication, radioactive iodine and or surgery. If you’re experiencing symptoms that you suspect may be the result of a thyroid condition, call 904-461-6060 and schedule a consultation with St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat today.