Showing posts with label hyperactive thyroid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hyperactive thyroid. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Thyroid Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

What is your thyroid? It’s a tiny butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, and while it may be small, thyroid issues can cause a whole range of serious health problems that can result in expensive medical bills. January is Thyroid Awareness Month, making it a great time to learn more about this important part of your body.

The thyroid is one of your endocrine glands, which produces hormones that affect your breathing, digestion, and heart rate. It helps you use energy, stay warm, and keep your organs working properly; In addition, your thyroid plays a role in regulating your body temperature. The more hormones your thyroid produces, the faster these systems in your body go. These systems working together are known as your metabolism.

According to the National Institute of Health, about 1 in 20 Americans over the age of 12 have an underactive thyroid, a condition known as hyperthyroidism. This causes bodily functions to slow down. A much smaller number of Americans, about 1 in 100, have hypothyroidism, an overactive thyroid, which can also cause problems.

Aside from these conditions, other health issues related to your thyroid include goiter, when your thyroid gland enlarges, thyroiditis or swelling of the thyroid, and thyroid nodules, which appear as small lumps in your neck. Thyroid nodules are extremely common and usually harmless, but it’s best to have them checked by a doctor to make sure they aren’t related to thyroid cancer.

In many cases, a thyroid condition can be difficult to diagnose, because the symptoms can seem unrelated. If you have an overactive thyroid, you may be prescribed medication that will help you regulate the flow of hormones. For an underactive thyroid, artificial hormones can help.

The cost of prescription medication can really add up, especially if you take them each month for long-term conditions or chronic diseases. If you’re looking for ways to save on your prescription medication bills, or simply interested in spending less money, free prescription savings card like the one offered by FamilyWize can be a great option.

The FamilyWize card can save you up to 75% off the total cost of your prescription medication, simply by showing it to your pharmacist when you pick up your prescription. It even works if you have insurance - simply show the pharmacist your FamilyWize card in addition to your insurance card, and ask for the lowest price. So if you’re taking medication for your thyroid, or are simply trying to spend less money in the New Year, print out a free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card or download the free app on your smartphone!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What Do You Need to Know About Your Thyroid Gland?

The thyroid is a small gland that’s part of the endocrine system. Yet, it plays an important role in growth and development in children and the regulation of different systems of the body in adults. Read on for more information about this important gland.

What is the thyroid gland?

Found at the base of the neck, the thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that produces the hormones T3, T4, and calcitonin. The function of the thyroid gland includes:

Regulating body temperature.
Aiding with metabolism.
Helps control heartbeat and pulse.
Growth and brain maturation (in children).

What are the common disorders of the thyroid?

Hypothyroidism: This condition indicates an under active thyroid, not producing enough hormones.
Hyperthyroidism: In this case, the gland is too active.
Hashimoto’s disease: An autoimmune condition, which is caused by the body attacking the thyroid gland, resulting in hypothyroidism.
Graves’ disease: An autoimmune disease causing hyperthyroidism.
Thyroid storm: A life-threatening condition that develops as a result of untreated hyperthyroidism. It may be brought on by stress, trauma, or infection.
Thyroid cancer: Four main types exist: papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic.

What symptoms indicate the thyroid gland is not functioning properly?

Because of the variety of conditions, symptoms may vary greatly. However, be sure to tell your doctor if you experience any of the following:

Change in weight.
Sluggishness or fatigue.
Rapid heart beat.
Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.
Nervousness or irritability.
Insomnia or restlessness.
Hair loss.

How are thyroid conditions determined?

Common thyroid function tests include:

Blood tests: Simple tests, including TSH, T3, T4, and Free T4 can help determine if your thyroid gland is functioning properly.
Thyroid scan: The first type uses a radioactive tracer (taken orally or injected) and a special camera to determine the condition of the thyroid as well as areas of under/over activity. A whole-body scan may be used for individuals who have had thyroid cancer to determine if the cancer has spread.
Ultrasound: A painless method that uses sound waves to take an image of the thyroid. This is usually utilized when a growth is detected on the gland.
Fine needle biopsy: Typically used to rule out cancer, this test collects cells from the thyroid for closer inspection.

What factors may contribute to developing a thyroid condition?

1. Environmental.
2. Diet.
3. Genetics. According to experts, approximately 70% of the risk of developing a thyroid condition is attributed to genetics.

What are treatment options?

Medication. Remember: Use your FamilyWize Discount Prescription Drug Card to receive discounts on prescriptions filled at your pharmacy.

Has there been a recent increase in thyroid disorders?

While it may seem you’re hearing of more individuals suffering from thyroid conditions of all types, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the apparent increase in thyroid disorders can be attributed to “increased diagnostic scrutiny.” In other words, better testing and diagnosis of these conditions is bringing them to the public’s attention.

Do thyroid conditions affect one gender more than another?

While women are more likely to have difficulty with functioning of the thyroid, men do suffer from thyroid conditions. In fact, even pets can be affected and treated.

Where can you learn more?

Visit, or for additional information on this important gland.

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