Thyroid Health

Thyroid Gland: Fact or Fiction?

Is it true or false that the thyroid gland plays a crucial role in the body? This small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck is often a source of issues. Test your knowledge about thyroid health.

True or false: The thyroid gland impacts every tissue in the body.

True. The thyroid gland produces two hormones that circulate through the bloodstream, regulating various bodily functions such as digestion, heart rate, and body temperature. Imbalances, either excess (hyperactive thyroid) or insufficient (underactive thyroid) hormone production, can lead to a range of problems, known as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

True or false: An underactive thyroid can lead to fatigue.

True. Fatigue is among the potential symptoms, with other signs depending on whether the thyroid is underactive or overactive. Warning signals may include feeling unusually cold or hot, changes in weight, constipation or diarrhea, dry skin, low mood, sleep difficulties, and menstrual period alterations. A blood test can help diagnose thyroid issues if suspected.

True or false: Surgery is the primary treatment for an underactive thyroid.

False. Individuals with an underactive thyroid often take synthetic hormones to replace the lacking natural hormone. This treatment is usually lifelong. Medications that lower hormone levels are commonly used for an overactive thyroid, with surgery being considered in some cases.

True or false: Thyroid disorders are more common in women than men.

True. Women and individuals above 60 are more prone to thyroid disorders compared to men and younger adults. A family history of thyroid disorders can elevate the risk. Nevertheless, anyone can be diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, often linked to autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease.

True or false: Most thyroid lumps are non-cancerous.

True. Thyroid nodules, or lumps, are prevalent but usually benign. Approximately only 10 percent of these nodules are cancerous. If you detect a lump, bump, or swelling in your neck, consulting your doctor for examination is advisable.

American Cancer Society. “Thyroid Cancer.”
Endocrine Society. “Thyroid and Parathyroid Hormones.”
Endocrine Society. “Thyroid Nodules.”
National Cancer Institute. “Thyroid Cancer—Patient Version.”
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. “Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid).”
National Institutes of Health. “Thinking About Your Thyroid.”
National Library of Medicine. “How Does the Thyroid Gland Work?”
National Library of Medicine. “Thyroid Hormones, T3 and T4, in the Brain.”

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