The thyroid is a gland in the throat area of the human anatomy. It influences most metabolic processes and hormone production. It’s no wonder that problems with the thyroid are common, and the effects can be life-threatening. If you are unsure what could be causing your hormonal imbalances or poor temperature regulation, you might want to consider the thyroid blood test. A finger prick sample could provide the answers that you are looking for, and it is never a bad idea to get the thyroid looked at if you are experiencing health concerns because it could easily turn into something worse. The global nature of thyroid functions should not be overlooked, autoimmune disorders are common among those experiencing thyroid conditions because of how much hormone levels in the body affect mood, immune response and resistance to stress as well as illness.
This is the name given to conditions when the thyroid is overactive. This means that it is producing too many of the three hormones that it produces. The thyroid is responsible for managing triiodothyronine, also known as T3, tetraiodothyronine, also called thyroxine or T4, and calcitonin. These affect how the body burns calories and can slow down or speed up the heart rate.
The most common form of hyperthyroidism is known as grave’s disease. Most commonly seen in women, grave’s disease causes the immune system to attack the thyroid. Another common ailment is known as goiter, which is when nodules or growths on the thyroid cause the gland to overproduce on its hormones.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include thinning hair, restlessness, muscle weakness, weight loss, excessive sweating, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. Treatments include radioactive iodine which damages the thyroid gland, antithyroid drugs, or thyroid surgery.
Opposite to hyperthyroidism, this is when the thyroid is underactive, and is unable to produce enough of its hormones. Causes of hypothyroidism include hashimoto’s thyroiditis which is when an autoimmune disorder causes the body to attack the thyroid tissue, which eventually leads it to die and stop producing hormones. Ironically, another cause of hypothyroidism can be the radiation treatment used to shrink the thyroid during hyperthyroidism treatment.
Although most cases are mild, symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, dry skin, increased sensitivity to cold, memory problems, slowed heart rate, and weight gain. Thyroid hormone pills are the most common treatment, although dosage is important because the hormone levels can cause hyperthyroidism.
This is the general term used to describe hormone imbalances caused by the thyroid. When excessive amounts are in the body, the body will use energy too quickly. Thyroid disease can be inherited, and you are more at risk if you take medication that’s high in iodine, if you are a woman aged 60 or over, and if you have diabetes. The thyroid gland plays an essential role in our immune system and how the body functions.
Women are 2-3 times more likely to develop thyroid cancer than men. Symptoms include swollen glands in the neck, a painless lump in the throat area, unexplained hoarseness that doesn’t seem to get better, and difficulty swallowing. Thyroid cancer can be caused by many things, but you are more likely to develop it if you have had other thyroid conditions, bowel conditions, obesity, or exposure to radiation as a child.
Treatments include surgery, radioactive substance, chemotherapy, and external radiotherapy. If you are concerned about any of these conditions or that you might be experiencing similar symptoms, speak to your doctor and get it checked out. The majority of people diagnosed with thyroid cancer go on to fully recover and live normal lives, providing that they get diagnosed and treated early on. The key is spotting it early and treating it before it has the chance to progress into something worse, and potentially life-threatening.
In summary, the thyroid is a complex butterfly-shaped gland in the throat that regulates hormones within the body. A simple blood test can determine if there are any imbalances in the body and seek medical advice if needed. The role of the thyroid is not one that should be underestimated because if it isn’t working correctly, it can cause fatigue, weight fluctuations, temperature irregularities, and swellings. Autoimmune disorders are common among those suffering from thyroid conditions, and along with mood fluctuations, can cause a wide range of long-term issues if not treated correctly. If you are concerned about the state of your thyroid, speak to your doctor and order a full thyroid function test, especially if you are genetically predisposed to thyroid conditions.