The thyroid gland is crucial to a functional body. It does everything from controlling body temperature to controlling your metabolism. In Australia, women are three times more likely to develop thyroid cancer so that means it's important to keep it in check. Women are also significantly more susceptible to disorders like hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroiditis and goiter.
Here are seven signs you might need to book in an appointment with your GP.
YOU'RE COLD OR HOT ALL THE TIME
If your thyroid isn't 100%, it may be affecting your body temperature. A lack of thyroid hormone to the body's cells can affect your body's heating function making you feel colder. On the other hand, too much thyroid hormone can cause excessive sweating.
PAIN IN LEGS AND ARMS
A weak thyroid can also result in underperforming muscles, says Dr Prudence Hall. "When the thyroid is underactive, we don't create good muscle mass and the muscles don't function well," she explains. Random bouts of pain in your arms legs and feet can signal a lack of hormone production in the thyroid.
Constantly scratching yourself? Hypothyroidism can lead to dry and itch skin due to the body's inability to rejuvenate the skin leaving older skin cells on the surface.
CONSTIPATION OR DIARRHOEA
If you're struggling with your bowel movements, it may be a case of a more serious problem. Irregular hormone production in the thyroid can lead to irregular bathroom behaviour.
Is your partner getting cranky at you for keeping them up through the night? Another sign you need to get your thyroid checked. Research found a strong link between late night wheezing and thyroid performance.
ABNORMAL PERIODS, DIFFICULTY CONCEIVING
Thyroid conditions can result in menstrual irregularities, says Dr Yoram Shenker from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. "Women of reproductive age can have difficulties conceiving," says Shenker.
VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY
Research has found that a shortage of Vitamin D can lead to the the development of Hashimoto's, an autoimmune disease where the body produces antibodies in the thyroid gland.