Do not ignore anxiety attacks

Do not ignore attacks of anxiety or irritability as these may be an indication of underlying hyperfunctioning of a thyroid, a butterfly–shaped gland in the middle of the neck, located below the larynx (voice box) and above the clavicles (collarbones), said Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee and President, Heart Care Foundation of India.

The thyroid produces two hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) that regulate how the body uses and stores energy (also known as the body’s metabolism). Thyroid function is controlled by a gland in the brain, known as the pituitary. The pituitary produces thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which stimulates the thyroid to produce T3 and T4. When the thyroid hyper functions, it produces too much thyroid hormone. When this occurs, the body’s metabolism is increased, which can cause a variety of symptoms.

Most people with hyperthyroidism have symptoms, including one or more of the following:

*Anxiety and irritability
*Weakness (in particular of the upper arms and thighs, making it difficult to lift heavy items or climb stairs)
*Tremors (of the hands)
*Perspiring more than normal
*Difficulty tolerating hot weather
*Rapid or irregular heartbeats
*Weight loss in spite of a normal or increased appetite
*Frequent bowel movements.
*In addition, some women have irregular menstrual periods or stop having their periods altogether. This can be associated with infertility.
*Men may develop enlarged or tender breasts, or erectile dysfunction, which resolves when hyperthyroidism is treated.