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How much do you really know about your thyroid and what it means if it's underactive? Dr Sam Rodgers, General Practitioner, and Medical Director of Medichecks, sheds some light on thyroid health and the key signs of an underactive thyroid.
What is the thyroid and what does it do?
"The thyroid is a gland situated at the front of your neck – it's responsible for producing the hormones which help to govern metabolism, namely thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). T3 is either secreted by the thyroid gland or is converted from T4 in our cells, and it is T3 that is biologically active and influences how our bodies function."
What are thyroid disorders and how many people are affected?
"Thyroid disorders are among the most common medical conditions, with an estimated 1 in 20 people affected. Because there can be a range of symptoms, many of which appear gradually, the condition is often mistaken for other conditions such as depression, the menopause or chronic fatigue syndrome."