Do you have an underactive thyroid?

Watch, Trust Me, I’m A Doctor on BBC Two, Wednesday 8 February to find out more.

Hypothyroidism – or an underactive thyroid – affects one in 70 women and one in 1,000 men according to the NHS. But it can be a tricky disease to diagnose and treat. Dr Michael Mosley, of Trust Me I’m a Doctor, asks if sufferers are slipping through the net.

Someone emailed me the other day to ask me if I had ever considered the possibility that I might have hypothyroidism; an underactive thyroid. The reason he contacted me is because he had seen me on television and noticed that I have quite faint eyebrows, which can be a sign of this disorder.

I have none of the other symptoms such as weight gain, tiredness and feeling the cold easily, so I’ve decided not to go and get myself tested.

But if you do – and you think you could you have it – what should you do about it?

To get some answers I’ve been talking to Dr Anthony Toft, who is a former president of the British Thyroid Association.

He tells me that the thyroid gland is a bit like the accelerator pedal on your car. It produces hormones which help control the energy balance in your body. If it’s underactive, then your metabolic rate will be slower than it should be. This means that you are likely to put on weight. Other symptoms can include feeling too cold or too hot, lacking in energy, being constipated, low mood, poor attention or “brain fog”.

To find out more watch:

Trust Me, I’m A Doctor on BBC Two at 20:00 GMT, Wednesday 8 February – catch up on BBC iPlayer or read the full article.