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Thyroid ailments are surprisingly common, affecting up to 20 million Americans. Over 12 percent of the population has, or will have, some kind of chronic thyroid dysfunction in their lifetimes.
If this figure seems high it is because about 60 percent of those affected are, as yet, unaware of their condition even as it is impacting on their lives in ways they cannot fathom. These can include obesity, joint pain, infertility and even cardiac issues.
What are the risk factors for thyroid illness? Let’s take a look.
What is Thyroid Illness?
Your thyroid is a small gland in your neck that produces a quantity of hormones: thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3) which are used to regulate many of the body’s systems including the metabolism.
When this system is working properly, your body is healthy and your thyroid makes the perfect amount of hormones to counteract those used by the body.
But sometimes, things go wrong and the thyroid begins to make too much thyroid hormone, or it fails to make enough to meet your body’s needs. These conditions are called hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, respectively.
What are the Signs of Thyroid Illness?
When your thyroid begins to act up, you may lose or gain weight for no good reason, you may be nervous or agitated, or, conversely, excessively tired and sleepy. Extreme mood swings are also a factor, as is an inability to control your body temperature, always being too cold or too hot.
Who is Most at Risk of Thyroid Illness?
There is something of a laundry list of people who are at higher risk of contracting thyroid illness. They include:
- Being a woman (you are five to eight times more likely to contact thyroid illness than a man)
- A genetic connection: if thyroid issues exist in your family line, you may have a stronger likelihood of suffering thyroid dysfunction
- Having an existing illness. Some conditions, like lupus, anemia, diabetes and others can increase the odds of your thyroid beginning to malfunction
- Being older than 60. As with so many conditions, over time the odds of your body beginning to fail or suffer illnesses increases with age, starting at about the age of 60
- Being pregnant or a recent mother
- And finally, suffering from previous thyroid issues means that your risk of future issues remains high
Can Thyroid Illness be Cured?
Unfortunately, thyroid illness cannot be cured. There are treatments available, although the treatment for hyperthyroidism is to stop the thyroid’s excessive production by inducing hypothyroidism in the patient!
However, the news is not all bad as the condition can then be very well managed with a regimen of synthetic T3 and/ or T4. For most people, regular doses of these medications can entirely alleviate symptoms and restore a good quality of life.
A good combination medication, Armour Thyroid available at Internationalpharmacy.com, is a mix of T3 and T4, similar to that produced by the body. When trying new medications, always do so under the supervision of your doctor or medical professional.