Lisa Haber, now 41, struggled with weight issues, fatigue, and dry skin as a teenager. She visited an endocrinologist, who said her thyroid was not to blame. But in 2013, when she was 37 and trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, she went to her internist and had her thyroid retested. She found out that it wasn’t functioning well and could be contributing to her inability to have a baby. Lisa, a social worker who lives in Chicago, went on medication that relieved some of her symptoms, and she got pregnant with her son a few months later.
Thyroid problems can take a toll on well-being, and as Lisa found out, they can be difficult to pinpoint. Often the symptoms mimic signs of other issues like depression and menopause. About one in eight women will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime, yet up to 60 percent of people with thyroid disease don’t realize they have it.
What’s more, the diagnosis of hypothyroidism, one of the most common thyroid problems, can be controversial: Some think test results don’t always offer a definitive answer. That’s why you should educate yourself to stay healthy. Here, what all women need to know.