Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck that makes hormones to maintain basic metabolic functions. If it does not make enough of these hormones (hypothyroidism), it could slow your metabolism and make you feel tired or depressed. If it makes too much of these hormones (hyperthyroidism), it could make you feel irritable and weak, cause your heart to race and cause abnormal weight loss. Interestingly, hair loss is a symptom of both hypo- and hyperthyroidism.
who should be tested?
Many people with thyroid disorders may not know that anything is wrong or could attribute their symptoms to other causes. The Thyroid Function Panel is recommended for anyone suffering from the symptoms above. You may have different symptoms depending on whether your thyroid is underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism).
symptoms of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Weight gain
- Memory loss or forgetfulness
- Dry skin and hair loss
- Hoarse voice
- Sensitivity to cold
- Frequent and/or abnormally heavy menstrual periods
symptoms of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- Irritability and/or sleep disturbances
- Weight loss
- Muscle weakness
- Sensitivity to heat
- Infrequent and/or very light menstrual periods
what will my test results tell me?
Your results will be the first step in determining if your thyroid is functioning properly. A normal result can be shared with your doctor at your annual visit. An abnormal result may mean there is an underlying issue with your thyroid and that further testing is needed.