What are thyroid disorders?
Thyroid dysfunction affects about 2-4% of the population in the UK. It is 10 times more common in women. Many even fear that the figure could be much higher, with many cases going undiagnosed.
The thyroid is a gland located beneath the larynx at the front of the throat. In simple terms, the thyroid sets the pace of your body's metabolism, and it is important that it works properly for us to feel well.
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What does the thyroid do?
The thyroid makes two hormones: T4 and T3.
The pituitary gland helps the process, by releasing TSH.
TSH stands for “thyroid-stimulating hormone” because it makes the thyroid release the T4 and T3 hormones. Werlabs can test the levels of all three hormones.
What is an overactive / underactive thyroid?
If the thyroid is failing to work properly, this means that you have either an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) or an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). This means your thyroid is releasing not enough or too many hormones:
- T4 is a hormone that acts as the body's accelerator pedal and stimulates our metabolism, energy levels and overall well-being.
- TSH is like the foot that presses the accelerator (T4).
If you have low T4 levels combined with high TSH levels, you may be suffering from an underactive thyroid – not enough acceleration, you could say.
Common symptoms of an underactive thyroid include:
- Feeling cold
- Weight gain
In the opposite case, if you have high T4 levels, this may mean you are producing too many thyroid hormones.
Common symptoms of high T4 levels include:
- A general feeling of illness
- Weight loss
This would require further tests to be carried out to check for an overactive thyroid. Symptoms of these diseases often start during or after pregnancy and in middle age.
The following tests are carried out to indicate whether people are at risk of thyroid disorders:
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