Parkridge Health System - January 22, 2020
by Michael Ferguson

The thyroid is a part of the body that typically doesn't get much attention. But when something's wrong with the thyroid, it can wreak havoc throughout the body.

What is thyroid?

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that lies below the Adam's apple, along the front of your neck.

The main purpose of your thyroid is to regulate a number of bodily functions by releasing a steady flow of thyroid hormones into your bloodstream. The thyroid also plays a vital role in your metabolism.

According to the American Thyroid Association, approximately 20 million people living in the United States have some type of thyroid disease. The most common thyroid disease is hypothyroidism, which occurs when your thyroid is underactive.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Weight gain
  • Puffy face
  • Hoarseness
  • Muscle weakness

If you are experiencing one or more of the aforementioned symptoms,you might want to speak with a physician about having your thyroid checked. A simple blood test can see where your thyroid's hormone levels are and if they are within normal range.

What treatment is available for thyroid problems?

Along with hypothyroidism, there are a few other thyroid conditions, such as subacute thyroiditis and hypothyroidism. Depending on the thyroid condition diagnosed, there are a number of treatment options available.


For instance, if you are diagnosed with subacute thyroiditis anti-inflammatory medications might be used for a short time. If you're diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, radioactive iodide treatment,surgery or anti-thyroid medication might be recommended.

People with hypothyroidism usually need to take a thyroid hormone replacement for the remainder of their lives.

Because there are various treatment options available for different thyroid issues, it is important to speak with a physician who can discuss the right treatment for you and your condition.

Eat your way to improved thyroid health

Did you know that certain foods can help to promote thyroid health? These foods include:

  • Roasted seaweed
  • Seaweed, such as kelp and nori
  • Salted nuts, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts and hazelnuts
  • Baked fish
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Fresh eggs

When planning your meals each week, consider adding some of these foods into your diet.

_Do you think you might have a problem with your thyroid? Parkridge Medical Center offers a number of specialists in a wide array of specialties who can help._