Understanding The Thyroid: What is Thyroid?
A small gland, the thyroid in the human body is found in the neck just below Adam's apple. It is an endocrine gland that performs the important function of releasing hormones that increase the levels of oxygen needed for important body functions and more protein production. In this way, the thyroid plays a crucial role in regulating the metabolic rate of the organs in the body.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain, usually controls thyroid gland. As a result, the regulating hormone will "switch off" the production of TSH when the body's level of thyroid hormones is high. Thyroid diseases occur when the thyroid is underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism). Let's look at both of these disorders in a little more detail:
Common Causes Of Thyroid Disorders
Inappropriate TSH levels most commonly cause thyroid disorders. Here are the causes of thyroid diseases:
Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition in which the body creates antibodies that damage sections of the thyroid gland itself, is the most prevalent cause of hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland). In some cases, surgical removal or even a particular medicine might trigger this disease. Other causes of hypothyroidism include pituitary and hypothalamic disorders and iodine deficiency.
Graves' disease, which causes the immune system to produce an antibody that stimulates the thyroid gland completely, is one of the leading causes of this condition. This leads to increased exercise and higher levels of thyroid hormones. Toxic thyroid adenoma is another name for this condition's cause. In this disease, adenomas, abnormal nodules of thyroid tissue, produce thyroid hormones continuously, even though they are not needed.
On the other hand, secondary hyperthyroidism occurs when the body's pituitary gland begins to produce excessive TSH. The thyroid gland is overwhelmed as a result of this. In other cases, a pituitary tumor can cause the body's TSH levels to rise. In rare circumstances, the patient's pituitary gland becomes resistant to thyroid hormones, rendering the patient unresponsive to high levels.
Thyroiditis is another cause of hyperthyroidism that has been found. The thyroid gland becomes inflamed due to this condition, which can cause temporary hyperthyroidism followed by hypothyroidism.
What are the common symptoms of thyroid disease?
People with thyroid disease may suffer from various symptoms. Unfortunately, the symptoms of a thyroid disorder are usually confused with those of other medical disorders and stages of life. This can make it difficult to understand if the symptoms are related to thyroid problems or other health problems.
Thyroid disease symptoms can be classified into two categories: hyperthyroidism (caused by having too much thyroid hormone) and hypothyroidism (caused by having too little thyroid hormone).
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid) can include:
- Having muscle weakness
- Experiencing irritability, anxiety, and nervousness
- Losing weight
- Feeling sensitive to heat
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Having eye irritation or vision problems
- Experiencing irregular menstrual periods
- Having a goiter or an enlarged thyroid gland.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) can include
- Feeling tired (fatigue)
- Having a hoarse voice
- Experiencing forgetfulness
- Experiencing an intolerance to cold temperatures
- Having frequent and heavy menstrual periods
- Gaining weight
- Having dry and coarse hair
How is thyroid disease treated?
Treatment for hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism must be entirely different from one another. Let's look at the treatment measures:
These medications can aid to prevent the thyroid from producing excess amounts of the thyroid hormones.
This treatment causes thyroid cell damage, preventing them from producing high levels of thyroid hormones.
These treatments do not change the amount of hormones in the body, but they help with symptom management.
Operation to remove all or a portion of your thyroid gland is known as a thyroidectomy.
The main treatment for hypothyroidism, or low thyroid hormone levels, is:
Thyroid replacement medication: This is a synthetic (man-made) way to replenish the body's supply of thyroid hormones. Levothyroxine is one such regularly used medication. You can control thyroid disease and lead a normal life by taking thyroid medicines.
Care at Medicover Hospitals
Our team of top-notch endocrinologists at Medicover Hospitals is trained to ensure patients receive the correct treatment and diagnosis at the right time. Our medical professionals will focus on evaluating the levels of TSH and thyroid hormones in the body, performing physical exams, and thoroughly examining the clinical history. So, Keep your thyroid hormone levels in check.