The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that is located at the base of the neck, and produces hormones which control your metabolic speed. However, both excess as well as underproduction of hormones by the thyroid gland can affect the body’s metabolism and ability to utilize energy, leading to several thyroid disorders.
Let us now have a detailed look at some of the various thyroid disorders, their symptoms, and diagnosis:
Hyperthyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland produces excess hormones (also known as overactive thyroid). This thyroid disorder is commonly caused due to Grave’s disease, which affects a large percentage of people suffering from an overactive thyroid. Apart from this, nodules on the thyroid can also make the thyroid gland overproduce its hormones. Some of the common symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
Undergoing a thyroid test (TSH blood test) is the best way to determine the levels of thyroxine or T4 and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in your blood, and helps doctors to devise a suitable course of treating your condition.
Underproduction of hormones by the thyroid gland is associated with a condition known as hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s disease, surgical removal of thyroid gland, or damage from radiation treatment are some of the most common causes of hypothyroidism. The symptoms caused by the condition include:
A patient who experiences any such symptoms should immediately undergo a blood test after consultation with a doctor. Based on your levels of TSH and thyroid hormone, the doctor will be able to best treat your condition.
It is the non-cancerous enlargement of the thyroid gland, with iodine deficiency or excess iodine in iodized salt known to be primary contributors of the condition. Patients may also suffer from goiter due to side-effects of certain medications, pregnancy, or damage from radiation exposure. Swelling in the neck, difficulty in breathing, coughing or wheezing, and a hoarse voice are some of the most common symptoms of the condition.
In order to treat the condition effectively, your doctor will advise you to undergo a blood tests which will determine the levels of thyroid hormone, TSH, and antibodies in your bloodstream. Besides, a thyroid ultrasound may also be recommended by the doctor to check for any swelling or nodules before beginning the treatment.
Remember, timely diagnosis and proper treatment are the best ways to keep the symptoms of any thyroid disorder at bay. If you experience symptoms of any thyroid disorder, undergo a thyroid test at the earliest and diligently follow the treatment as prescribed by your doctor in order to avoid any further complications.