Common Thyroid Diseases and Their Symptoms
Among the numerous glands in the human body, the thyroid is one of the essential ones. It is a small gland that works to regulate an individual’s metabolism by producing the thyroid hormone. Thyroid problems can crop up when the gland either overproduces or underproduces the thyroid hormone.
The two most common thyroid diseases observed in people are hyperthyroidism, i.e., an overproduction of the thyroid hormone, and hypothyroidism, i.e., the underproduction of the same hormone. Close to about 13 million people experience thyroid disease symptoms every year. It is important to note that if this condition is left untreated, various other complications in your body can arise. Hence, it is necessary to gain a sufficient understanding of various thyroid problems and thyroid disease treatment.
Types of Thyroid Disease
The various diseases of the thyroid are:
Woman experiencing hypothyroidism, Credit: Pixabay
It is a condition where an individual’s thyroid gland is not able to produce sufficient quantities of the thyroid hormone. The condition drastically slows down a person’s metabolism. It is often observed more in women than men.
The primary cause of this disease is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune condition. This thyroid disease symptoms include:
At present, there is no thyroid disease treatment of this condition. Oral administration of the thyroid hormone replacement is the only option.
Person experiencing hyperthyroidism, Credit: Pixabay
This condition arises when the thyroid gland becomes overactive. Excess production of this hormone speeds up the metabolic processes. When the thyroid gland inflames, it overproduces the hormone. The common cause of this disorder is an autoimmune condition called the Grave’s disease.
You might experience the following symptoms:
Sudden spike in energy
Unintentional weight loss
Brittle hair and thin skin
More than usual bowel movements
To treat this condition, antithyroid drugs and radioactive iodine tablets are prescribed by the doctor. In sever cases, a surgery to remove the thyroid gland the only option.
3. Thyroid Nodules
Woman getting thyroid injections, Credit: Pixabay
The condition is characterised by the formation of lumps in the thyroid gland. In most cases, these nodules are harmless and do not cause any complications. However, sometimes they can lead to hyperthyroidism. In rare cases, these nodules turn cancerous. The causes of this nodule formation is largely unknown. It is observed commonly in women than men. There are no symptoms associated with this condition.
In case the nodules turn harmful, the doctor undertakes a surgery to remove them.
Person suffering goitre, Credit: Pixabay
Goitre is a condition where the thyroid gland becomes enlarged. It can be temporary without requiring any treatment. It can also be permanent in the form of a symptom of another underlying thyroid disease.
A number of causes can lead to this condition. They are Grave’s disease, thyroid nodules, Hashimoto’s disease, or thyroid cancer. You may experience the following symptoms:
Difficulty in swallowing and breathing
Tightness in the throat
Swelling at the base of the neck.
To treat this condition, the doctor may prescribe certain medications or it can also be left untreated if it is without any symptoms.
5. Thyroid Cancer
Diagram showing thyroid cancer, Credit: Pixabay
Cancer of the thyroid gland is called thyroid cancer. It starts with swelling or lump formation on your neck. Although it is usually without symptoms, you may feel difficulty in swallowing. The nodule or the lump needs a close examination by your doctor to determine if it is cancerous or not.
Cancer surgery is the common treatment that is done for this condition. Various types of therapies, like radioiodine therapy that destroys cancerous cells left during surgery, are done afterwards.
Thyroid Effects in Females
Woman experiencing infertility, Credit: Pixabay
As mentioned above, women are more prone to developing various thyroid diseases. It affects them in the following ways:
Irregular periods. Depending on the problem, your periods can be either too light or too heavy.
Women may experience infertility issues.
Women are also at a risk of developing certain health problems during pregnancy due to thyroid conditions.
If you experience any of these symptoms over a certain period of time, then its time to get your thyroid gland checked.