RCLS and the Effects of Thyroid Disease
As it is coming up to the end of the month, Randox Clinical Laboratory Services would like to take the opportunity to raise awareness for Thyroid disease. January is Thyroid Awareness Month, a full month to raise more awareness about the thyroid gland, the symptoms and why it is vitally important for our overall health and well-being.
What is Thyroid disorder:
Although the thyroid is a small, butterfly-shape gland in the base of the neck, it is very important for our body as it influences the function of the body’s most important organs including the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin. 1 It also regulates our rate of metabolism, growth and development and even our body temperature. Therefore, thyroid gland plays a key role to our health and well-being.
Thyroid disorder is very common throughout the world. One in twenty people in the UK are affected by Thyroid disorder 2. The symptoms of having Thyroid Disease aren’t obvious consequently why the disease is known as “the silent disease”. You could have the disease without being aware because it often develops over several years before you get an obvious symptom.
The Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is one of the two most common thyroid disorders.
The underactive thyroid is when your thyroid gland produces less thyroid hormones than it should cause by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland and damaging it. 3
Although the symptoms usually develop slowly and doesn’t seem like a serious health indicator, according to the NHS3 the following are the common signs of hypothyroidism:
- Being sensitive to cold
- Weight gain
- Slow movements and thoughts
- Muscle cramps / weakness
- Dry and scaly skin
- Irregular or heavy periods
- Pain, numbness and tingling in the hands and fingers.
It is vital that an underactive thyroid is diagnosed and treated as soon as possible to prevent long term problems such as high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, hearing loss, angina and even a heart attack. The silent disease can also lead to further complications such as Goitre. 3Goitre is when there is abnormal swelling of thyroid gland which causes a lump to form in the throat. It could also result in pregnancy complications for women for example, pre-eclampsia, anemia, birth defects, premature or even stillbirth/miscarriage.
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) is also a common thyroid disorder but it complete opposite of hypothyroidism. This disorder is where the thyroid gland produces extra levels of hormones which can be unpleasant and result serious health problems 4.
The NHS also stated the symptoms of the overactive thyroid which includes the following:
- Nervousness / anxiety
- Mood swings
- Difficulty sleeping
- Tiredness and weakness
- Sensitivity to heat
- Irregular heart rate
- Weight loss
If an overactive thyroid isn’t treated or controlled properly it can consequence further problems for example, problems with eye vison, pregnancy complication such as premature birth or miscarriage and a thyroid storm when there is a life-threatening flare-up of all the symptoms.4
Although, thyroid disease is silent It is extremely vital that everyone is aware of the symptoms of both thyroid disease to prevent the long-term effects and have a long healthy life.
Randoxs Thyroid Free Arrays:
Randox Clinical Laboratory Services offers Randox Thyroid Arrays enable simultaneous determination of the following thyroid hormones in a single patient sample on our Evidence Investigator.
- Thyroid Free Array
- Free thyroxine (FT4)
- Free tri-iodothyronine (FT3)
- Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
- Thyroid Total Array
- Total thyroxine (TT4)
- Total tri-iodothyronine (TT3)
- Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
For more information about our Thyroid Array or Evidence Investigator email firstname.lastname@example.org