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Women Veterans Health Care

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Thyroid

The thyroid is a gland in the front of your neck that produces the thyroid hormone.

Thyroid hormones affect a person's physical energy, temperature, weight, and mood, as well as influence several other organs and hormones. Thyroid disorders are common in women, especially right after pregnancy and menopause.

The most common thyroid disorders are when the thyroid hormone levels are too low or too high. Hypothyroidism is where the thyroid gland produces not enough thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism is where the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone.

Thyroid disease can affect pregnancy. A normal thyroid hormone level is critical to the health of the mother and baby during pregnancy.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Weight gain
  • Feeling cold
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Changes in your period (usually heavier)

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Palpitations
  • Feeling anxious or jittery
  • Increased sweating
  • Feeling hot
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Changes in your period (usually lighter)

What services does VA provide for thyroid issues?

If you report having symptoms of a thyroid issue to your VA Women's Health Primary Care Provider, they will start by taking a complete medical history to learn more about your symptoms and your family history. Your provider will do a detailed exam of your thyroid and order blood tests or additional imaging tests, such as ultrasound or scan, if needed for diagnosis.

Your provider will refer you to an endocrinologist if a specialist is needed.

How do I access services for thyroid issues at VA?

The first step in accessing thyroid screening services at VA is to make an appointment with your VA Women's Health Primary Care Provider. They will work with you and determine a plan that works best for you and refer you to any additional thyroid testing if necessary.

If you don't already use VA health care, you you may want to use the following online tools:

Find out if you are eligible for VA health care.

Enroll in VA health care if you haven't already.

Find your local VA and make an appointment.

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The Women Veterans Call Center is your guide to women's health

If you have questions or can't find what you're looking for, you can call, text, or chat online with the Women Veterans Call Center (WVCC) at 855-829-6636 to get help and find available resources and services in your area. Trained women representatives can also help you with issues such as:

  • Enrolling in VA health care if you have not already
  • Setting up a medical appointment in your area
  • Answering questions about eligibility (including questions about disability ratings) and other VA benefits like employment, education, and home loans

WVCC representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET, and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET.

Where can I find more information, help and resources on thyroid health?

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