Do you have brain fog, hair fall, weight gain, or chills issues? Or possibly the other way round? Are you sweaty, revved up, or anxious? Does fatigue drag you down every day? If you face the given symptoms, then you could blame it on your thyroid gland. This amazing regulator of mind and body can go haywire sometimes. The signs are common to be seen in a woman and getting the right treatment is a must, or you will continue to feel lethargic.
What is the thyroid gland?
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped, ductless gland in the front of your neck. The gland produces hormones that regulate the speed of your metabolism. It is the system that helps the body use energy. In the case of thyroid disorders, the production of thyroid hormones gets disrupted, and your metabolic rates drop down significantly. The fluctuation of hormone levels causes a range of symptoms that can disturb your normal bodily functions.
Some thyroid problems include hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, goiter - enlargement of the thyroid gland, thyroid cancer, and thyroid nodules. The thyroid gland, in addition to Thyroid Hormones – T3 (Tri-Iodothyronine), T4 (Thyroxine), also produces Calcitonin - one of the hormones needed for calcium metabolism. It is essential to go for a thyroid test to confirm the level of T3 and T4 hormones and ensure that you don't have a thyroid disorder.
What are the types of Thyroid Disorders?
There are two types of thyroid disorders:
1. Hypothyroidism: under this condition, a person's thyroid gland becomes less active and results in slowness, lethargy, cold intolerance, reduced appetite, weight gain, drooping of upper eyelids, high cholesterol, constipation, increased sleep, swelling of the face and limbs, coarse skin, menstrual irregularities, and infertility.
2. Hyperthyroidism : under this condition, a person's thyroid gland becomes hyperactive and results in palpitations, nervousness, tremulousness, insomnia, heat intolerance, diarrhea, weight loss despite increased appetite, prominence of eyeballs, menstrual abnormalities and low cholesterol.
What causes thyroid disorder?
There are several causes of thyroid disorders.
Enlisted below are conditions that cause hypothyroidism:
The inflammation of the thyroid gland is known as 'Thyroiditis.' It lowers the number of thyroid hormones produced.
Postpartum thyroiditis is a temporary condition usually caused to 5% to 9% of women after giving birth.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the most common types of hypothyroidism. It is a painless disease of the immune system that is hereditary.
Approximately 100 million people around the world are affected by iodine deficiency. The thyroid gland uses iodine to produce hormones. To curb this condition, it is advised to use only iodized salt.
Enlisted below are conditions that cause hyperthyroidism:
In the case of Graves' disease, the thyroid gland gets overactive and produces too much hormone. This causes the thyroid gland to enlarge. It is also known as diffuse toxic goiter.
Thyroiditis is a disorder in which the thyroid gland release hormones stored in the gland causing hyperthyroidism for a few weeks or months.
Toxic adenomas - the condition in which nodules develop in the thyroid gland and start secreting excess thyroid hormones. This upsets the body's chemical balance. A single nodule is called toxic autonomously functioning thyroid nodule, while many nodules are called a toxic multi-nodular goiter.
Cold and sinus medicines and some cough syrups have an excessive amount of iodine in them. This might cause the thyroid to produce either too much or too little hormone in some individuals.
Treatment of Thyroid disease –
Most people with hypothyroidism are effectively treated with thyroid hormone pills. Regular monitoring of the dose is essential. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism can be treated with medications. At times surgery and radioiodine treatment may be necessary for complete cure. Surgery is even needed if a large Goitre is producing disruptive and compressive symptoms or for cosmetic reasons. Lastly, thyroid cancer may require surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, depending on the type and the stage.
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