The thyroid gland is present at the front of our neck. It releases thyroid hormones which are responsible for metabolism control. These thyroid hormones assist many essential functions of the human body, and their proper working is essential for one’s wellbeing. However, two conditions arise due to the abnormal working of this gland. Hypothyroidism is when the production of hormones is lower than average, and Hyperthyroidism is when the production exceeds the average level of hormone production. Both can result in diseases. Thyroid diseases are not limited to any age group. These can occur in anyone starting from an infant to the elderly.
Women are 5-8 times more prone to get a thyroid disease than men, and it is highly more likely to occur in pregnancy. Thyroid disease can also run in families as well. The TSH (Thyroid-stimulating Hormone) blood test is a thyroid gland test that scans the glands’ working. It can also assist the thyroid disorder diagnosis, female infertility issues and monitor thyroid replacement therapy for hypothyroid problems. It is used in pituitary gland function tests as well.
Hypothyroidism is a state where the gland’s working is lower than what is required for healthy working. This leads to a decrease in the body’s metabolism, leading to a sluggish lifestyle.
Its symptoms are
- Dryness of skin
- Gain of weight
- cold temperature
- Being very tired
If hypothyroidism is not treated promptly, Hypothyroidism can evolve into a much more severe condition called myxedema. This occurs when the hormone levels are too low for proper functioning and have even more dangerous symptoms, fatal. These include:
- Heart failure
- Very low body temperature
These conditions are developed due to the inadequate working of the thyroid gland. This unsatisfactory working results in low metabolism, which ultimately causes less sweat production and can be fatal if left untreated.
- Deficiency of iodine or less consumption of iodine.
Non-functional thyroid gland: The thyroid gland does not work from childbirth. 1 out of 4000 children suffers from this.
Swelling of the thyroid gland can lower the production rate of thyroid hormones crucial for the body’s growth and metabolism.
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis:
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease and one of the most common causes of Hypothyroidism in the USA. In this condition body’s cells attack the Thyroid gland and damage the thyroid. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is likely to run in families and is often inherited.
- Postpartum Thyroiditis:
Postpartum Thyroiditis occurs in 5-9% of women after childbirth. However, in many cases, it is temporary.
Hyperthyroidism is the extra production and release of thyroid hormones that accelerate the metabolism, causing fatigue, increased or irregular heart rate and weight loss.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism are
- Loss in weight
- Heart rate boost
- Increased nervousness
Increased metabolic activity increases sweat production, and thus, it leads to feeling warmer and can affect one’s nervous system, and can also reduce weight. When this is left untreated, it can also become fatal. Females experience altered menstrual cycles due to this.
- High levels of iodine or extra amount of iodine in diet or medication.
- Thyroiditis, a disease in which the gland releases stored hormones.
- Nodules, some nodules can be overactive, several toxic nodules can cause toxic multi-nodular goiter.
- Graves’s Disease, a disease that causes the gland to produce excessive hormones.
For the list of symptoms and causes of Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism, visit https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/8541-thyroid-disease.