The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland found in the neck. It produces hormones that regulate metabolism and affects many body processes, including heart rate, temperature, calorie usage, growth and fertility. Under or over activity of the thyroid gland can upset the normal regulation of these processes and cause a range of symptoms. It is essential to understand your thyroid health.
Thyroid problems are common; according to NICE, around 15% of the UK population have an enlarged thyroid gland, around 2% suffer from hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) and more than 5% of those over 60 suffer from thyroid dysfunction.
Signs of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) include:
- Tiredness and lack of energy
- Low mood
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Intolerance of the cold
- Dry hair and skin
- Muscle aches and pains
Signs of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) include:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Difficulty sleeping
How do you test for thyroid health?
The wide range of symptoms associated with thyroid disease can have a significant impact on quality of life; therefore, early identification and treatment are important to effectively manage symptoms and minimise complications.
Diagnosis based solely on symptoms is challenging, as many of the signs and symptoms are non-specific and could be due to a range of conditions. However, a simple blood test can tell you whether your thyroid is functioning as it should.
At Randox Health, thyroid function testing is available as a standalone Thyroid Health check and included as standard in our Everyman, Everywoman and Signature health programmes. We now also offer a dedicated Thyroid Health at-home test to allow affordable and effective monitoring of thyroid function from the comfort of home.