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Much like motor vehicles have engines, our bodies have similar parts to help us function. The heart and brain are the big anatomy regulators, but did you know the thyroid is also a crucial driver of bodily operation? When your thyroid experiences problems, your whole body starts to feel out of sorts — and your quality of life suffers.
Knowing how your thyroid works and what signs indicate something is wrong will
help you get the care you need and enhance your livelihood. Deb Vogelsang, nurse practitioner at Mayo Clinic Health System, answers some common questions about thyroid disease.
Q. What is a thyroid?
A. A thyroid is a gland at the base of the neck. This important part of your body produces hormones that regulate blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate and weight.
Q. What are potential thyroid problems?
A. There are four main thyroid afflictions: hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroid cancer and thyroid nodules.
While all of these conditions can be serious, each has its own symptoms and distinctions.
Q. What are the symptoms of thyroid problems? How are they treated?
A. As stated before, each thyroid problem has its own nuances. Here are common symptoms to look for with each condition:
Contact your health care team if you experience these symptoms or have other concerns about potential thyroid health.
Treatment options for these conditions include:
The thyroid is so important to your well-being. It’s a gland that regulates vital functions of your body and influences not only your health, but the quality of your life. So if there’s an issue, the faster it’s addressed, the better you’ll feel.
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