If you have a thyroid problem, your thyroid (gland) is not making enough of the thyroid hormone (underactive) or it’s making too much (overactive). The name for the underactive thyroid condition is called “hypothyroidism” and the name for the condition when the body makes more thyroid hormone that it needs, is called “hyperthyroidism”. The thyroid gland has a very important job. It makes hormones that help to control growth and development and other functions of the body.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism may include: irritability, nervousness, increased perspiration, intolerance to heat, fatigue, trouble sleeping, tachycardia (fast heartbeat), muscle weakness and irregular menstrual periods in girls.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism may include: muscle weakness, dry skin, hair thinning or hair loss, poor memory, trouble concentrating, weak gain and menstrual irregularities.
Keep in mind that some people with thyroid conditions have mild to moderate symptoms, while others don’t have any symptoms until their condition gets worse.
Most of the time thyroid problems can be managed with medication rather than surgery. It’s especially important to follow your health care provider’s instructions and take your medicine regularly and on time. It’s also necessary to see your health care provider 1-2 times a year (or more often if you don’t feel well) to have your thyroid checked. Most of the time, this just involves having a simple blood test. As you grow, the amount of thyroid medicine you take may need to be slightly adjusted.