Thyroid problems - A Detailed Insight
Whether it is small or big, every part of our body has a significant impact on our physical well-being. The thyroid gland falls under the small part-big impact category.
What is Thyroid?
It’s a gland in your neck that produces thyroid hormones called triiodothyronine(T3) and thyroxine(T4), which greatly influence your metabolism.The Thyroid can be referred to as an energy warehouse as it is responsible for supplying energy to almost all parts of the body. It highly influences lifeline functions such as how your heart beats and how your digestive system works.
Thyroid related problems
As we know, most of the health problems that we face are probably due to our organs’ abnormal activity. The same holds true for thyroid related issues too. Without the right amount of thyroid hormones, your body’s natural functions begin to throw tantrums.
The most common thyroid problems involve over or underproduction of thyroid hormones. While too much secretion of thyroid hormone results in a condition known as hyperthyroidism, not enough production of thyroid hormones results in a condition called Hypothyroidism.
- It can occur due to an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In this condition, the body’s immune system attacks thyroid tissue and causes chronic thyroid inflammation. The inflammation can reduce thyroid function, and eventually, the gland dies.
- Also, the reduced thyroid hormone levels may be up due to removing the thyroid gland, either surgically or chemically (post radiotherapy).
- Diet deficient in Iodine may also be a cause. Addition of iodine to table salt has decreased the incidence of hypothyroidism.
- Drugs such as Lithium have also been implicated as a cause of Hypothyroidism.
The most common symptom of Hypothyroidism is Weight gain, dry skin and hair. Other symptoms include constipation, muscle cramps, irregular menstrual flow in women, swelling in the face, sensitivity to cold.
The condition can occur in several ways:
- Graves’ disease: Production of higher than average amounts of thyroid hormone.
- Toxic adenomas is another condition in which nodules develop in the thyroid gland and begin to secrete thyroid hormones resulting in disturbance of the body’s chemical balance.
- Another condition goes by the name Subacute thyroiditis. It is the inflammation of the thyroid gland that causes the leakage of excess hormones. Though this hyperthyroidism is temporary and generally lasts a few weeks, it may sometimes persist for months.
Hyperthyroidism signs include Irritability, increased sweat secretion, racing heartbeat, difficulty sleeping, unexplained weight loss, less frequent periods, bulging eyes, and shaky hands.
It is swelling in the neck resulting from an enlarged thyroid gland. It commonly develops as a result of iodine deficiency or inflammation of the thyroid gland. It may be also due to Physiological causes such as during pregnancy and puberty because of increased demands for hormone production.
Goitre may be classified as Nodular or Diffuse.
- Diffuse goitre: The whole thyroid gland appears to be enlarged due to hyperplasia.
- Nodular goitre: They are either of one nodule (uni-nodular) or of multiple nodules (multinodular).
The main consideration in a thyroid nodule is to pick up cases of carcinoma. Of all the palpable nodules, only about 5-10% will be malignant.
There are four types of thyroid cancer as identified by researchers based on the kinds of cells found in the tumor. They are:
- Papillary thyroid cancer: It is the most common type and is found in 80% of the cases. It emerges from follicular cells that produce and store thyroid hormones. It slowly spreads to lymph nodes in your neck. It is easily treatable.
- Follicular thyroid cancer: Found in 10-15% of thyroid cancer cases, follicular thyroid cancer arises from the follicular cells of the thyroid. It can enter lymph nodes and is also more likely to affect blood vessels.
- Medullary cancer: It is found in about 4% of all thyroid cancer cases. It is caused by ‘C’ cells that produce a hormone called calcitonin. It can be easily found during blood test results at an early stage.
- Anaplastic thyroid cancer: It is the most severe, rare, and hardest to treat type of all as it can aggressively and progressively spread to other parts of the body.
Symptoms: A lump inside the throat, change in voice, difficulty swallowing due to pain.
In whom can they be seen?
- Women are more prone to thyroid problems than men.
- They can pop up at any age even though they are generally seen in people over 60.
- It can be hereditary. The risk of getting thyroid problems is high, especially if a family member has been diagnosed with the disease.
Fortunately, most thyroid problems can be managed well if properly diagnosed and treated. At Aahan ENT Clinic, we go through all the tests to precisely determine your thyroid issue and treat it accordingly. Our group of expertise follows you up throughout the treatment duration to ensure the best results. So book your appointment today and get into safe hands.