Thyroid disorders are not exactly rare, and it’s estimated that 5 to 10 per cent of Singaporeans have them in one form or another. However, it can be a challenge to determine whether or not a health issue is caused by a thyroid disorder. This is because the typical symptoms of thyroid issues are quite nonspecific and largely overlap with that of other common health conditions.

Perhaps you’re wondering if your thyroid is directly responsible for the health concerns you’re experiencing lately. Your doctor can certainly help you find the root of the issue and address it quickly and properly. At the same time, it’s also worth enriching your knowledge about your thyroid so that you can make informed decisions about your health and ask your doctor the right questions during your check-up. That said, here are some interesting facts about the thyroid that you probably didn’t know:

Thyroid Cancer Is the Most Common Endocrine Cancer

Thyroid cancer is the most common cancer that affects the endocrine system. It’s prevalent among all age groups and is often diagnosed at an age that’s younger than the common range for most adult cancers. If you have concerns about your thyroid nodules and cancer, then it would be in your best interest to see a medical practitioner and relay your issues to them.

The good news is that many types of thyroid cancers are usually quite treatable, even in their advanced stages. Still, seeing your doctor about your medical concerns as early as possible will give you a better chance of maximising highly effective treatments and making a full recovery.

Women Are More Likely Than Men to Have Thyroid Issues

It’s estimated that one in every eight women will experience thyroid problems within their lifetime. In fact, women are five to eight times more likely than men to experience thyroid issues. Given this, it’s important for women to be vigilant about their thyroid function after pregnancy or during menopause when these issues are more likely to arise.

Most Thyroid Disorders Cannot Be Prevented

The causes of thyroid issues are largely unknown, and as such, there’s no sure way of preventing a person from experiencing thyroid problems. While getting your recommended dose of iodine, quitting smoking, and living a healthy lifestyle can help you reduce your risk for thyroid issues, these do not guarantee that your thyroid will function perfectly well in the future. At best, what you can do is be aware of the common signs of thyroid problems so you can consult a medical practitioner at the first sign of trouble.

It’s a Must to Address Thyroid Disorders as Soon as Possible

Now, even if thyroid issues are not preventable, this doesn’t mean that there’s no use addressing them.

Remember that, among many things, your thyroid plays a key role in how fast your body burns calories, how fast your heart beats, and how hot or cold your body temperature gets. If you encounter issues that concern these functions every day, then that will certainly have a negative impact on your life, relationships, and profession. If left unaddressed, these issues can lead to complications such as high cholesterol, heart problems, nerve issues, and infertility.

Fortunately, thyroid problems can be managed properly with evidence-based guidelines and prescription medication. A program that’s customised to your particular case will help you address the symptoms of the condition so you can have better control of your health and well-being despite the negative impact thyroid disorders can have on the body.

Stressful Conditions Can Contribute to Worsening Thyroid Issues

It’s natural to be stressed over one’s mental and physical health when dealing with thyroid disorders. After all, the condition can lead to significant changes in your physique, mood, and energy levels, which can then have a negative effect on your work and everyday activities. However, excessive stress can also contribute to your existing health problems. It leads to a lack of sleep, a poor immune response, and the activation of pro-inflammatory processes, which can then result in worsening symptoms of thyroid problems.

In addition to medical interventions, healthy lifestyle changes and customised lifestyle plans can make thyroid conditions more manageable. You can commit to an exercise plan, do yoga and meditation, or alter your diet to make it healthier. If you don’t know where to start, a medical practitioner can help you navigate this situation and assist you in planning lifestyle changes that can have a positive impact on your health and well-being.

Small as it may be, your thyroid is responsible for a lot of the factors that affect your day-to-day performance and physical, mental, and emotional health. This butterfly-shaped gland has plenty of essential functions, so it’s important to address the issues that may affect your thyroid as soon as possible. That way, you have every chance of managing your conditions and living your best life.