Updated: Aug 27, 2019
The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in the throat, is an extremely vital organ and component to our daily functioning. It sends out hormones to all the other parts of us and makes sure everything is on track and doing its job right. If the thyroid, therefore, is not doing its job well, it can lead to big trouble down the line. So it's an important (and super easy) thing to get checked out if you think you might be experiencing symptoms.
How do I know if I have a thyroid problem?
If you have been experiencing symptoms such as consistent weight gain/loss, changes in energy, insomnia, depression, or any number of other seemingly "mundane" symptoms, it might be time to get your thyroid checked, as sometimes these symptoms can be a result of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Your doctor may wish to do a simple blood draw to determine your thyroid levels, most commonly the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), T4, and T3.
I got the blood test...Do I really need meds?
If you're taking thyroid medication for raised levels of TSH (but all other thyroid levels are normal), read this article from The BMJ medical journal and CONSULT WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN to discuss its implications for you. You may not need to be taking thyroid--in fact, it could be more detrimental than good, in some cases. (Please don't cease taking your meds without first talking to your MD though!)