The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped organ lying at the front of the throat, produces thyroid hormone, which helps regulate the body’s metabolism.
Too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) can result in agitation, palpitations, and weight loss. Too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) can result in sluggishness, dry skin, hair loss, and weight gain.
According to the guidelines issued by the American Thyroid Association (ATA), everyone should be screened for thyroid problems beginning at age 35, at a minimum of five year intervals. Those with symptoms of or a family history of thyroid dysfunction should be checked even more frequently.
St. Peter's Hospital offers a simple blood test measuring the levels of a pituitary hormone that helps regulate the thyroid, called TSH, that can indicate thyroid dysfunction.
For more information, call St. Peter’s Wellness Center at (406) 444-2128.