Your thyroid is a small glands in your neck that produce hormones. It has a butterfly shape wraps around your windpipe. For such a small gland, it plays a big role in your physiology.
The thyroid produces a few hormones that play different roles in the body. About 20 million Americans are affected by some form of thyroid issue. Women in particular should be aware of thyroid issues, since they’re 5 to 8 times more likely to develop one than men.
You might’ve heard of an over or under-active thyroid. The official terms would be hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, respectively. There’s a spectrum of how serious these issues are, but a few things to look out for include:
- Increased anxiety and irritability
- Trouble sleeping
- Losing weight without trying
- Enlarged thyroid
- Irregular menstrual cycles for women
- Constantly feeling tired
- Sleeping too much
- Weight gain
- Heavy and frequent periods
- Feeling cold often or having trouble in cold environments
Your doctor can help you determine if you have a thyroid issue by running blood tests. The symptoms listed above are fairly general, so they might not indicate a thyroid problem.
If you’re having a lot of trouble with gaining or losing weight, thyroid issues could be the root of your problems. This is true for those doing everything in their power to diet and exercise properly but fail to see progress.
Thyroid issues can also prevent you from making the most of your workouts. An underactive thyroid can cause fatigue, muscle weakness, and a decrease in endurance, making it more difficult to exercise.
An overactive thyroid can also cause fatigue and muscle weakness. Plus, you could experience increased heart rate, and tremors which can make it difficult to exercise. Thyroid issues are more common than you think, particularly among women. If you feel like something is off with your body but can’t explain why, it might be time to ask your doctor to test for a thyroid issue.