What does the thyroid do?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the front of your neck, which has two side lobes. Even though it’s small, it controls many bodily functions. Since it produces hormones that regulate things like mood, digestion, and the body’s metabolic rate, among others, there are plenty of health issues linked to thyroid problems, too. Here are some health problems that might occur if your thyroid is not functioning properly.
Strange weight changes
Because the thyroid gland regulates metabolism, too much thyroid hormone causes the general “speeding up” of bodily functions, according to the Australian Thyroid Foundation. So it makes sense that if you’re experiencing unexpected weight loss, hyperthyroidism could be to blame. On the other end of the spectrum, if the number on your bathroom scale is going up, the increase could be caused by hypothyroidism, which causes the slowing of bodily processes. Professor Leonard Wartofsky explains than usually the weight gain isn’t a matter of obesity; it’s in the range of two to five kilograms. “So slow, progressive, modest weight gain could raise suspicions.”
Feeling sluggish and sleepy
If you’ve been tired and ‘blah’ despite adequate sleep, an underactive thyroid might be the reason, per Harvard Medical School. Dr Wartofsky adds that patients with overactive thyroid experience a different kind of fatigue. “With hyperthyroidism, it’s a feeling of being worn out – of running on a hamster wheel and feeling exhausted.”