We often overlook thyroid difficulties and abnormalities amid growing concerns about heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases. The thyroid is a small but strong gland that plays an important role in our physical and mental health. Found under the Adam’s apple, this butterfly-shaped gland stimulates the release of hormones that travel to all organs and cells in the body, affecting functions such as respiration, heart rate, metabolism, mood, and body temperature. .
Thyroxine, often referred to as T4 and triiodothyronine or T3, are two hormones secreted by the thyroid. When the thyroid is not working properly, it can have major health consequences.
types of thyroid disease
Thyroid disease is classified into two types: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
An overactive thyroid, also known as hyperthyroidism, is often caused by Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disease in which the body makes excessive amounts of T3/T4. You may feel your heart pounding, you are finding it difficult to lose or gain weight, and your hair is falling out. You get the feeling that your body is always in motion. This may cause anxiety.
An underactive thyroid, commonly known as hypothyroidism (which is often caused by Hashimoto’s disease), indicates that the thyroid is not making enough hormones. Your body feels sluggish, you may gain weight, feel cold, and your nails may become brittle. When you think about it, it’s like your body is slowing down. In addition, women may experience menstrual irregularities (excessive menstrual bleeding) and infertility, while children may experience poor growth and delayed puberty.
other thyroid issues
Thyroid nodules are benign growths on the thyroid that do not produce hormones. It is usually recognized by palpation followed by ultrasound. The vast majority are benign, however, up to 10% can be malignant.
Although it is not a thyroid “disease,” it is possible to have thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer is usually detected when there is a significant growth on the thyroid, which may look like a hump on the neck. Most thyroid cancers are random and not inherited. However, there is no annual screening for thyroid cancer. If you find a lump on your neck that doesn’t go away, get medical treatment for diagnosis.
What is the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders?
Blood tests are used to identify hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. A blood panel is requested to assess your thyroid hormone levels as well as the antibodies that attack your thyroid gland.
If your thyroid gland produces too little or too much thyroid hormone, medicine may be given to supplement or reduce the amount of the hormone in your bloodstream. Surgery or radioiodine treatment are more permanent treatments for overactive thyroid.
However, thyroid nodules are evaluated with a specialized thyroid ultrasound, followed by a biopsy if the nodule is large and/or worrisome. If thyroid biopsy results are worrying or suggestive of malignancy, surgery is usually needed. Treatment options for large benign nodules that are symptomatic (swallowing or breathing problems) include lesion surgery or radiofrequency ablation.
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