What is the thyroid?

The thyroid is a neck gland that aids in the regulation of several the body’s most vital processes. It is positioned near the base of the neck.

The thyroid gland produces hormones that help control many of the body’s metabolic processes, like heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight.

Types of thyroid problems

The thyroid can either become overreactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism), or it may become cancerous. This may lead to a range of health problems, however, once diagnosed thyroid problems can usually be treated effectively. Other thyroid problems include nodules in the thyroid, an inflamed thyroid, and an enlarged thyroid.

Signs and symptoms

Hyperthyroidism

  • Reduced urine output
  • Hair loss
  • Bulging eyes
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhoea
  • Menstrual periods may occur less often, or with longer cycles

Hypothyroidism

  • Reduced urine output
  • Dry hair
  • Puffy face
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Possible infertility, an increased risk of miscarriage and irregular menstrual cycles

People with these symptoms should seek medical help immediately!

A thyroid issue is frequently a chronic medical ailment that requires ongoing management. Nevertheless, if you have thyroid illness, you can typically lead a normal life.

FAQs on thyroid problems

Thyroid problems may be caused by

  • Iodine deficiency
  • Autoimmune diseases that attack the thyroid:
    Hyperthyroidism – caused by Grave’s disease
    Hypothyroidism – caused by Hashimoto’s disease
  • Inflammation caused by a virus
  • Non-cancerous lumps
  • Cancerous tumours
  • Medical treatments or radiation therapy
  • Certain genetic disorders

Sometimes, pregnancy can cause thyroid problems to start or worsen. If not treated, complications like miscarriage, premature birth, preeclampsia, and bleeding after birth may occur.

Thyroid disease can be challenging to diagnose because the symptoms are often confused with those of other conditions. Symptoms overlap with those of pregnancy and aging.

The tests that can help diagnose thyroid conditions include

  • Blood tests
  • Physical examinations
  • Imaging tests

Physical examinations and imaging tests like ultrasound are painless and the doctor feels and scans for any growths or enlargement of the thyroid.

Blood testing are one of the most reliable techniques to identify a thyroid issue. By detecting the amount of thyroid hormones in your blood, thyroid blood tests are used to determine whether your thyroid gland is working normally.

  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • Thyroxine (T4)
  • Free thyroxine (fT4)
  • Triiodothyronine (T3)
  • Free triiodothyronine (fT3)
  • Thyroid antibodies
  • Calcitonin
  • Thyroglobulin

The goal of thyroid disorder treatment is to return the thyroid hormone levels to normal. This can be accomplished in several ways, and the method will vary depending on what caused your thyroid problem. Medication allows you to manage the thyroid disease and symptoms.

Treatment for hyperthyroidism may include

  • Radioactive iodine
  • Anti-thyroid drugs
  • Beta blockers
  • Surgery

Treatment for hypothyroidism my include

  • Thyroid replacement medication

Although there are some things you may take to lessen the likelihood of getting thyroid disease. Limit your soy intake, ask for a thyroid collar when you receive an X-ray, and don’t smoke. Attempting to stay away from potential environmental pollutants is another option. Finally, make an annual visit to your primary care physician. There are no certainties that you won’t get thyroid illness and having a family history of thyroid autoimmune disorders can increase your risk.

A thyroid issue is frequently a chronic medical ailment that requires ongoing management. A daily prescription is frequently needed for this. Your medical professional will keep track of your treatments and make changes as needed over time. Nevertheless, if you have thyroid illness, you can typically lead a normal life. Finding the best course of action and controlling your hormone levels may take some time, but once they are, persons with these diseases typically lead quite unrestricted lives.