January is National Thyroid Awareness Month, a time dedicated to spreading information about thyroid disease, which affects approximately 20 million Americans.
Chairman of the Department of Urology and Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital Dr. David Samadi explained on "Sunday Housecall" today that the thyroid is an endocrine organ that sits on the neck and is responsible for coordinating the rate of metabolism in the entire body.
"It affects your brain, it affects your heart, it affects your digestive system. It can affect your skin and everything else ... and that's why it's good to know about this," Dr. Samadi said.
He recommended that people get their Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels checked to make sure they are not too low or too high. He said people should get their T3 and T4 thyroid hormones checked as well.
Low levels can result in the symptoms above, while high levels can lead to a rapid heartbeat and anxiety.
Associate Professor at NYU School of Medicine Dr. Marc Siegel added that five times more women suffer from thyroid disease than men and ten million of the 15 million cases are low thyroid.
"Here's the good news ... is this is so treatable," Dr. Siegel said. "If you have low thyroid, I can give you something called levothyroxine. [It] just replaces the thyroid and you're back to normal. It's a great, great medication."
Watch the clip above and get more information by checking out Dr. Samadi on Facebook.