What women need to know about thyroid disorders

It's National Women's Health Week -- a good time to remind the women in our lives to keep health a priority.

We're all aware of the dangers that breast cancer and heart disease brings. But women also need to know about thyroid disorders.

The American Thyroid Association reports that about 20 million Americans have a form of thyroid disease. Women are eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems. But that's not all -- one in eight women can expect to develop a thyroid problem.

So what's the big deal? The thyroid gland is essential to helping the body regulate its metabolism, blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate. If a pregnant woman has an untreated thyroid disorder, it could make her at a higher risk for miscarriage, preterm delivery and possible development problems in the child. 

Ruth S. Horowitz, M.D., is the chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism of the Geckle Diabetes Center at GMBC. She talked with ABC 2 News to let women know the difference between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism and what the symptoms of both are.

People who show symptoms of nervousness, weight loss, fatigue or jittery feelings could have an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism. 

People who feel tired, cold, constipated or have weight gain could have an under active thyroid, or hypothyroidism.

If you have any of those symptoms, it's important to take a trip to the doctor for blood work. But don't worry -- thyroid disorders can be treated with medication.

Check out the video to see what Dr. Horowitz has to say about your thyroid health.

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