Keep track of bouts with the “blues”


(NC) -- Feeling down more often than usual? Making notes of your bouts with the “blues” may help your doctor diagnose whether your “blues” indicate a medical condition or temporary low morale.

To help your physician make a proper assessment, note the number of days each spell of the “blues” lasts, if there is a particular trigger that may have caused it, and whether you are experiencing any other symptoms. Considering other symptoms is important, since some common disorders have several general symptoms.

Thyroid disease, for example, affects an estimated one in every 10 Canadians.

The most common thyroid disease is hypothyroidism (under‑active thyroid), which afflicts about 80 percent of all patients diagnosed with a thyroid disorder. Its many symptoms include: unexplained weight gain, constipation, depression, forgetfulness, fatigue, dry skin and hair, brittle nails, hoarse voice, increased sensitivity to cold, mood swings, and muscle aches and pains.

Over‑active thyroid (hyperthyroidism), a less common thyroid disorder, also has multiple symptoms. These include unexplained weight loss, heat intolerance, changes in vision, menstrual disturbance, tremors, disturbed sleep, fatigue and muscle weakness.

Thyroid health is important because the thyroid gland regulates growth, maturation and speed of metabolism. Hormones produced by the thyroid gland stimulate almost every tissue in the body to produce proteins and increase the amount of oxygen that cells use to meet the demand of an increased metabolic rate.

If you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms mentioned, ask your doctor for a TSH (Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone) test.

For more information on thyroid disorder, visit:

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