Thyroid Disease and Disorders are increasingly common and here is a brief guide. The Thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland. It is located at the base of your neck. Despite being small, it is responsible for regulating several metabolism-related activities, all of which are influenced if the thyroid malfunctions. As such, there are four major disorders associated with the Thyroid gland. Here is what these disorders are and how they affect our bodies.
It is also called Chronic Lymphatic Thyroiditis and can cause Hypothyroidism. It can result in Hypothyroidism, that is, lower production of thyroid hormones needed for proper function. While it can occur at any age, it is more common in middle-aged women. The disease occurs when our immune system mistakenly attacks the Thyroid gland. It can slowly damage the gland, destroying its hormone production ability.
People with only a mild case of disease may have no apparent symptoms. The disease may remain stable for long with the appearance of only subtle symptoms. These symptoms include fatigue, constipation, depression, irregular menstruation and enlarged thyroid – among others.
In contrast to Hashimoto, this disease causes Hyperthyroidism. It is also an autoimmune disease in which our immune cells attack the gland. This results in an overproduction of hormones. It is hereditary and can develop at any age. However, it most often occurs in women aged 20 to 30 years. Stress, pregnancy and smoking can be a few other risk factors for triggering Graves’ disease.
As a result of hormone overproduction, our body systems speed up resulting in a number of other symptoms. These include anxiety, hand tremors, irregular or increased heartbeat, altered menstrual cycles and enlarged thyroid – among others.
Goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland too. It is common worldwide, mainly because of low iodine intake. On the other hand, it can also be caused by a symptom of hyperthyroidism. It can affect anyone, especially in a place where iodine deficiency is common. It is more common in people over 40 years of age. Pregnancy, certain medications, family history and radiation exposure may also act as risk factors.
The symptoms include swelling in the neck, breathing and swallowing difficulties, coughing and hoarseness.
These are growths on or in the thyroid gland. Iodine deficiency and Hashimoto’s Disease are speculated causes, but the actual reason remains unclear. These nodes may be solid or filled with fluid. These are mostly benign, but a small percentage can be cancerous too. The symptoms include high pulse rate, tremors, weight loss and clammy skin.
If you observe a symptom of any of these Thyroid Diseases, we recommend not ignoring them. Diagnosis is the first step to proper treatment.