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Thyroid disease is a medical condition that affects the function of the thyroid gland (the endocrine organ found at the front of the neck that produces thyroid hormones). The symptoms of thyroid disease vary depending on the type. There are four general types: 1) hypothyroidism (low function) caused by not having enough thyroid hormones, (2) hyperthyroidism (high function) caused by having too much thyroid hormones, 3) structural abnormalities, most commonly an enlargement of the thyroid gland, 3) tumors which can be benign or cancerous, and 4) abnormal thyroid function tests without any clinical symptoms. Common hypothyroid symptoms include fatigue, low energy, weight gain, inability to tolerate the cold, slow heart rate, dry skin and constipation. Common hyperthyroid symptoms include irritability, weight loss, fast heartbeat, heat intolerance, diarrhea, and enlargement of the thyroid. In both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, there may be swelling of a part of the neck, which is also known as goiter.
I was diagnosed with an under active thyroid about 3 years ago, while my sister was diagnosed when she was 21. Although we both manage it with medication, there are times when the fatigue can be overwhelming!