What is Thyroid Disease?
Glands are found all over the body, and each secretes unique hormones that help your body in specific ways. Thyroid glands are an example. It is a small butterfly-shaped organ wrapped around the windpipe to the front. Suppose your thyroid doesn’t work correctly, for example. If your body produces too many hormones, you may develop a hyperthyroid condition and a hypothyroid condition if the production is too low.
Thyroids release and control hormones that control metabolism: the process where food ingested is transformed into energy for the different parts of the body to use. The thyroid uses two main hormones Thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), to ensure metabolism works. The two hormones are solely responsible for telling the body the amount of energy to utilize. As energy is used, the thyroid replenishes the hormones.
The brain also plays a significant role in body functions as it relays information to organs all over the body. Below the skull is the pituitary gland which monitors and controls the levels of the thyroid hormones. If the production is lower or higher, it uses its hormone called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone to normalize the thyroid hormone.
Thyroid disease comes along when the thyroid hormones are not regulated. When your body quickly expends energy, you’ll experience fast heart rates, weight loss, or nervousness. On the flip side, you may feel tired, gain weight, or be intolerant to cold temperatures when you have few thyroid hormones.
Anyone can contract thyroid disease irrespective of gender, age, or color. It can develop at birth or as you age. Research shows that women are more susceptible to thyroid disease than men. The study also estimates that 20 million people in the USA have different thyroid disorders.
You may have a higher risk if:
- Your family has a history of thyroid conditions
- You are above 60 years
- You have previously been treated for cancer or thyroid condition.
- You take medicine with high iodine.
- You have underlying medical conditions like pernicious anemia, primary adrenal insufficiency, Turner syndrome, lupus, type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Causes of Thyroid Disease
As discussed, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are types of thyroid diseases. They, however, can result from other illnesses that affect the thyroid glands. Hypothyroidism diseases include iodine deficiency and Hashimoto’s, and postpartum Thyroiditis Iodine deficiency. Diseases that may cause hyperthyroidism include excessive iodine, Graves’ disease, Thyroiditis, and Nodules. Thyroid disease has a variety of symptoms. However, it can be hard to identify symptoms related to thyroid issues since the symptoms are very similar to other conditions.
Symptoms that manifest with hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) include: Eye irritation or vision problems, Losing weight, Sensitivity to heat,
Muscle weakness and tremors, Trouble sleeping, Having goiter or an enlarged thyroid gland, Experiencing irritability, anxiety, and nervousness
Irregular menstrual periods or no menstrual cycle.
Symptoms that manifest with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) include: Fatigue, Developing a hoarse voice, Gaining weight, Having coarse and dry hair, Intolerance to cold temperatures, Experiencing heavy and persistent menstruation, Forgetfulness, Hair loss, Very severe and untreated cases of hypothyroidism may result in seizures.
Thyroid Tests and Diagnosis
Thyroid disease is not easy to diagnose as the symptoms are confused with other conditions. These symptoms can show in pregnant women or those aging. Fortunately, there are tests designed to identify thyroid symptoms. Most tests prompt your doctor to conduct additional testing to determine the possible thyroid condition. They include: imaging tests, blood tests which include thyroid-stimulating hormone, thyroxine, free T4 and thyroxine, triiodothyronine, free T3, and triiodothyronine, and physical exams.
Treatment and Management
The cardiologist and doctors at the Concierge Consultants & Cardiology Fort Lauderdale work primarily to normalize your thyroid hormone levels. Each treatment is specific to the cause of the thyroid condition. Hyperthyroidism treatments include antithyroid drugs, surgery, beta-blockers, and radioactive iodine. The primary treatment for hypothyroidism is thyroid replacement medication.Your surgeon may partially or entirely remove your thyroid during surgery, either through your armpits or the fore of the neck. The surgery is termed a thyroidectomy. The recovery period often takes a few weeks after surgery. During the recovery period, it’s advisable to avoid getting your incision wet and lifting heavy objects.