The thyroid gland plays an essential role in the human body. According to the online healthcare publishing company Medicine.net, the thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck that produces the hormones that regulate metabolism. When the thyroid gland’s ability to do its job is compromised, the effects can be serious and lead to a host of symptoms that don’t go away. 

Are all thyroid conditions the same?
Thyroid conditions vary, and as a result, that can produce their own distinct symptoms. The Harvard Medical School notes that the thyroid can be overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism). An overactive thyroid will produce too much hormones, while an underactive thyroid won’t produce enough. Symptoms of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can overlap, but each condition has its own unique symptoms as well.

What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?
Signs of hyperthyroidism include:
• Fatigue
• Fast heartbeat
• Trouble concentrating
• Increased appetite
• Sweating
• Nervousness, restlessness
• Unintentional weight loss

What are the symptom of hypothyroidism?
Signs of hypothyroidism include:
• Fatigue
• Increased sensitivity to cold
• Muscle weakness
• Brittle nails and hair
• Hoarse voice
• Unintentional weight gain

What can I do to safeguard myself from thyroid conditions?
The online medical resource Healthline notes that most cases of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism cannot be prevented. For example, hyperthyroidism is often caused by Graves’ disease, an immune system disorder that’s most common among women. Some peoples’ thyroids have become overactive because they consumed too many foods that contained iodine, such as table salt, fish and seaweed. However, Healthline notes that such instances are rare.
While people may not be able to prevent thyroid conditions from developing, they can keep a watchful eye out for any of the aforementioned symptoms of overactive or underactive thyroids. Any such symptoms should be reported to a physician immediately. Medicine.net notes that, in most cases, thyroid disorders can be managed with treatment and are not life-threatening. However, the outlook for people with thyroid conditions is always better when symptoms are reported early. Learn more about thyroid conditions at www.medicine.net.