What is thyroid?
The thyroid gland is a small organ located in the front of the neck that wraps around the trachea (trachea). It is shaped like a butterfly, smaller in the middle, with two broad wings that wrap around your neck. Thyroid is a gland. There are glands throughout your body, where they make and release substances that help your body perform a specific function. Your thyroid makes hormones that help control many important functions of your body.
When your thyroid doesn't work properly, it can affect your entire body. If your body makes too much thyroid hormone, you can improve a disorder called hyperthyroidism. If your body makes also little thyroid hormone, it is called hypothyroidism. Both conditions are serious and require treatment by your healthcare provider.
Who is affected by thyroid disease?
Thyroid illness can affect someone – men, women, babies, teens and the elderly. It can be present at birth (usually hypothyroidism) and it can develop as you age (often after menopause in women).
Thyroid illness is very mutual, with an estimated 20 million people in the United States consuming some kind of thyroid condition. A woman is about five to eight times extra likely to be diagnosed with a thyroid illness than a man.
You may be at higher risk of developing thyroid disease if you:
- There is a family history of thyroid illness.
- Have a medical condition (may include pernicious anemia, type 1 diabetes, primary adrenal insufficiency, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome and Turner syndrome).
- Take a medication that is great in iodine (amiodarone).
- Are over the age of 60, especially among women.
- Have had treatment for a previous thyroid condition or cancer (thyroidectomy or radiation).
What causes thyroid disease?
The two key types of thyroid disease are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Both situations can be caused thru other illnesses that affect the way the thyroid gland works.
Conditions that can cause hypothyroidism include:
- Thyroiditis: This condition is inflammation (swelling) of the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis can decrease the amount of hormones produced through your thyroid.
- Hashimoto's thyroiditis: An effortless disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition wherever the body's cells attack and harm the thyroid. It is an inherited disorder.
- Postpartum thyroiditis: This condition occurs in 5% to 9% of women after delivery. This is usually a temporary condition.
- Iodine deficiency: Iodine is used through the thyroid to produce hormones. Iodine deficiency is an issue that affects several million people worldwide.
- A non-functioning thyroid gland: Sometimes, the thyroid gland does not function properly from birth. It affects about 1 in 4,000 new born’s. If left untreated, the child may suffer both physical and mental problems in the future. All new born babies are screened blood tests in the hospital to check their thyroid function.
Conditions that can cause hyperthyroidism include:
- Graves' disease: In this condition the entire thyroid gland may become overactive and produce too many hormones. This difficult is similarly called diffuse toxic goiter (enlarged thyroid gland).
- Nodules: Hyperthyroidism can be affected thru nodules that are overactive within the thyroid. A single nodule is called a toxic autonomously functioning thyroid nodule, while a gland with multiple nodules is called a toxic multinodular goiter.
- Thyroiditis: This condition can be any painful or not felt at all. In thyroiditis, the thyroid releases hormones that accumulate there.
- Too much iodine: When your body has too much iodine (the mineral used to make thyroid hormones), the thyroid makes more thyroid hormone than it needs. Excessive iodine can be found in certain medicines (amiodarone, heart medicine) and cough syrups.
What are the common symptoms associated with thyroid disease?
If you have thyroid sickness, you might knowledge a variety of symptoms. Unfortunately, the symptoms of thyroid conditions are often similar to those of other medical conditions and stages of life. This can make it difficult to know whether your symptoms are related to a thyroid problem or something else entirely.
For the most share, symptoms of thyroid illness can be distributed into two groups – those correlated to too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) and those correlated to also little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism).
Symptoms of an overexcited thyroid (hyperthyroidism) might include:
- Feeling anxious, irritable and nervous.
- Having trouble sleeping.
- Weight event.
- Enlarged thyroid gland or goiter.
- Muscle weakness and tremors.
- Feeling irregular periods or your periods discontinuing.
- Feeling sensitive to heat.
- Vision problems or burning in the eyes.
Symptoms of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) might include:
- Feeling tired (fatigue).
- Gaining weight.
- Experiencing forgetfulness.
- Frequent and heavy periods.
- Having dry and coarse hair.
- Having a hoarse voice.
- Experiencing intolerance to cold temperatures.
How is thyroid disease treated?
Your healthcare provider's goal is to get your thyroid hormone levels back to normal. This can be complete in a variety of ways and all specific treatment will depend on the reason of your thyroid situation.
If you have high levels of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism), treatment options may include:
- Anti-thyroid medicines (methimazole and propylthiouracil): These are medicines that stop your thyroid from creating hormones.
- Radioactive iodine: This treatment damages the cells of your thyroid, preventing it from making high levels of thyroid hormone.
- Beta blockers: These drugs do not change the amount of hormones in your body, but they do help control your symptoms.
- Surgery: A further permanent system of treatment, your healthcare provider might surgically remove your thyroid (thyroidectomy). This will stop it from making hormones. However, you will need to take thyroid replacement hormone for the rest of your life.
If you have low levels of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism), the main treatment option is:
- Thyroid replacement medicine: This drug is a synthetic (man-made) way of adding thyroid hormone back to your body. One drug commonly used is called levothyroxine. By using a medicine, you can control thyroid disease and lead a normal life.