As reported by the American Thyroid Association (ATA), more than 20 million people in the United States, mostly women, are afflicted with a thyroid disorder or disease. Since that averages one in every eight women, it’s essential to understand the thyroid glands function and to recognize when it may not be functioning properly.
The thyroid gland is located underneath the larynx (voicebox) and is shaped like a bow tie or butterfly. The two lobes or wings wrap around the windpipe. It’s one of the most important glands in the body as it plays a key role in regulating the body’s basal metabolic rate (BMR) by producing and storing thyroid hormone or TH. TH also helps regulate blood pressure, tissue growth, and vital to the nervous system and skeletal development.
The three primary malfunctions of the thyroid gland that require thyroid testing in Ephrata, PA are:
• Hypothyroidism:- When the thyroid produces insufficient amounts of TH it is called an underactive thyroid and it causes the body’s MBR to slow down. Symptoms vary among individuals but can include lethargy and fatigue, irregular menstrual cycles, unexplained weight gain, depression, itchy or dry skin, dull or dry hair, and constipation. The condition can occur spontaneously, during or post-pregnancy, or an individual can be born with it.
• Hyperthyroidism:- The opposite of hypothyroidism, where the thyroid gland produces excess quantities of TH, resulting in an overactive thyroid. This condition occurs less frequently than hypothyroidism and is marked by symptoms such as unintended weight loss, rapid or irregular heart rate, nervousness or irritability, and increased perspiration. Changes in sleep patterns such as insomnia, muscle fatigue, and disrupted menstrual cycles are other symptoms.
• Thyroid Nodules:- Abnormal masses or lumps in the thyroid gland are the most common type of thyroid disorder treated by the specialists at www.. The overgrown tissue occurs in more than 50 percent of the people aged 50 and older, with the majority being harmless. They are the result of benign tumors or cysts, and less frequently from thyroid cancer.
If a thyroid disorder is suspected, it’s important to consult with a health care provider, as soon as possible. Thyroid testing in Ephrata, PA is conducted to determine the specific thyroid condition by measuring the TH and TSH levels in the blood. In cases of thyroid nodules, an ultrasound can determine if they are cysts, but not if they are benign or malignant.