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Interesting Symptoms of Thyroid Problems

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What does the Thyroid Do?

Symptoms of Thyroid Problems

The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck. Even though it's only about 1-inch (2.54 cm) large, this gland has a huge impact on human health. The thyroid gland, composed mostly of an inner core called the follicle and an outer layer called the colloid produces thyroid hormones. These hormones regulate the body's metabolism and affect how the body uses energy from what an individual eats. The most important ones are triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), and calcitonin.

What does the thyroid do

Thyroid Hormones and their Function:

What does the thyroid do? The thyroid gland produces several hormones that regulate metabolism and affect how the body uses energy. These are thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), and calcitonin.

Thyroid hormones are released into the bloodstream, where they travel throughout the body to control the metabolism of every cell in the body. They have a direct effect on heart rate, brain function, muscle strength, body temperature, weight, and cholesterol levels. These hormones also function in a complex feedback loop with the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is located just below the center of the brain and makes a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH stimulates the thyroid to produce more hormones when it senses that the individual needs more or less of them.

Thyroid Disease and Thyroid Symptoms

Thyroid disease

When the thyroid is underactive (hypothyroidism), it makes fewer thyroid hormones. The body's tissues and organs do not get enough thyroid hormones to work properly. That may cause your metabolism to run slowly. Your heart rate may slow down, an individual may have trouble staying warm, and they might gain weight.

This is a malfunction in thyroid glands. Some thyroid diseases happen when the thyroid gland is not working properly, while others are inherited from parents. In most cases, thyroid disease is a result of autoimmune disorders where the immune system attacks thyroid cells and causes inflammation which leads to changes in thyroid hormone levels. Thyroid disease may be caused by thyroiditis, thyroid nodules, thyroid hyperfunction, or thyroid hypofunction.

  • Thyroiditis: The inflammation of thyroid follicles
  • Thyroid nodule: A lump in the thyroid gland that may or may not cause any problems
  • Hyperthyroidism: When thyroid glands make too much thyroid hormone
  • Hypothyroidism: When thyroid glands don't make enough thyroid hormone
  • Thyroid cancer: Thyroid tumors may be cancerous or benign. The thyroid gland may develop cancer because it is very sensitive to radiation. Stages of thyroid disease go from being normal thyroid function, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, thyroid cancer to thyroidectomy.

Symptoms of Thyroid Problems

thyroid symptoms

The thyroid gland releases thyroid hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones travel through your body regulating metabolism and affecting how the cells use energy from food to keep your body going. When the thyroid gland is diseased or underactive, it does not produce thyroid hormones in the right amount and begins manifesting in thyroid symptoms that are unusual.

Some common symptoms of thyroid problems include:

  • Swelling in the neck and throat area (goiter)
  • Visible bulging in the neck
  • Dry skin and constipation
  • Fatigue, sleepiness, or feeling tired after waking up
  • Hoarseness
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Menstrual changes in women
  • Coarse, dry hair that falls out easily
  • Depression and memory problems

Thyroid Treatment

thyroid treatment

Thyroid treatment may include thyroid surgery, thyroid hormone replacement therapy, and thyroid medications.

  • Surgery (thyroidectomy):

- Thyroid gland is surgically removed

- Thyroid hormones are given to replace the function of the thyroid that was removed

- Radioactive iodine treatment for hyperthyroidism

  • Replacement thyroid hormone

- Thyroid hormones may be given orally, injected, or through a skin patch

- Thyroid hormones work by replacing the thyroid hormone that is either missing or not working correctly

  • Radioactive iodine treatment for hyperthyroidism

Radioactive iodine may be taken by mouth and absorbed by thyroid cells. Once radioactive iodine makes its way to thyroid cells it may destroy thyroid tissue.

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