What’s this: Thyroidism?

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The buzz around the healthcare facilities has everything to do with your thyroid – a small, butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the front of your neck – which is basically the control center for your body.

So, what?

Hormones secreted by the thyroid help maintain the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs, and help the body to use energy properly. So, when something goes awry, so does everything else. Your metabolism especially either revs up too high or slows way down. These two conditions — hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism — affect the thyroid in different ways.

What’s the difference?

With hypothyroidism, “your whole metabolism slows down — the heart rate is slower than normal, the intestinal tract becomes sluggish, and there is less heat production,” says Mario Skugor, MD, an endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic who specializes in thyroid disorders. In contrast, with an overactive thyroid, all body functions tend to speed up. Think of it as a racing car engine. “People with hyperthyroidism will have symptoms of a fast metabolism,” Skugor says.

What are the symptoms?


This article was originally published in the Spring 2019 edition of RG Magazine.

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