June is Thyroid Month


Some of the ways your pharmacist can help are:

  • Medication reviews
  • Providing advice on reducing medication side effects
  • Counselling on medications

What does the Thyroid Gland do?

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland that is located at the base of the neck. The gland is a part of the endocrine system which is in charge of the hormone creation and distribution in your body. The hormones the thyroid gland produces help control the metabolism, body temperature and growth and development.

Types of Thyroid Disease

The two most common types of thyroid disease are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

  • Hyperthyroidism: The thyroid gland is over active meaning it produces too much hormone. The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Grave’s disease which is an autoimmune disease.
  • Hypothyroidism: They thyroid gland is under active meaning it does not produce an adequate amount of hormones. The most common cause of hypothyroidism in Canada is the Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which is a hereditary autoimmune disease.

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Rapid heartbeat, irregular heartbeat, or heart palpitations
  • Increased appetite
  • Nervousness, anxiety and irritability
  • Increased sensitivity to heat
  • Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Eye problems

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin
  • Increased sensitivity to the cold
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Dry and brittle hair
  • Muscle weakness
  • Imparted memory and confusion
  • Pain, stiffness and swelling in joints


Treatment is dependent on what type of thyroid disease a patient has. There are a range of treatments depending on a specific patient’s need. For more information, please talk to a member of your health care team.


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