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Endocrine Diseases Data Verified

Be Aware of the Thyroid!

Written by
Dr. Vasantha K S
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Aug 13, 2018 and last reviewed on Feb 27, 2019   -  7 min read

Abstract

Abstract

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in front of your neck. Along with the other glands of the endocrine system, it regulates the metabolic functions of the body by releasing thyroid hormones. This article talks about the normal functions of the thyroid as well as common thyroid disorders and their symptoms and treatments.

Be Aware of the Thyroid!
Contents

Overview of Thyroid

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in front of your neck. Along with the other glands of the endocrine system, it regulates the metabolic functions of the body by releasing thyroid hormones into the bloodstream.

Thyroid disorders can occur when there is too much or too less of thyroid hormone being produced by the gland. While too less of the hormones can slow down the metabolism, an excess of hormones can speed up the metabolism a lot. Although the hormonal imbalance causes a lot of disturbance, they can be well managed with medications.

Thyroid Problem

Image Source : WebMd

Normal Functions of the Thyroid

The thyroid gland absorbs iodine from our diet and combines it with an amino acid known as Tyrosine to make the thyroid hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). They are involved in regulating a variety of bodily functions such as:

Normal Range of Thyroid

Normal range of thyroid

Image Source : Mamma Health

Thyroid Disorders

Common disorders of the thyroid involve either over or under stimulation of the gland. Hence, depending on the type of disorder, the symptoms and treatment vary. The most common disorders of the thyroid include:

  1. Hyperthyroidism.
  2. Hypothyroidism.
  3. Goiter.
  4. Thyroid nodules.
  5. Graves' disease.

1. Hyperthyroidism

This is a disorder of the thyroid where the gland is overactive. In this condition, there is an overproduction of thyroid hormone. It is more common in women and those over 60 years old. An autoimmune disease known as Grave's disease is the most common cause, but there may be other reasons as well.

Causes

Symptoms

Diagnosis

Treatment

2. Hypothyroidism

In this condition, the thyroid gland is underactive and there is an underproduction of thyroid hormone.

Causes

Symptoms

Diagnosis

Treatment

3. Goiter

Goiter is a non-cancerous, abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. It is more common in women than in men. It is of different types based on the cause.

Causes

Symptoms

Diagnosis

Treatment

4. Thyroid nodules

Thyroid nodules are small, harmless, benign overgrowths that can develop on the thyroid gland. They can be solid or fluid-filled. They are mostly asymptomatic. Sometimes, some symptoms may develop such as the following.

Causes

Symptoms

Diagnosis

Treatment

Sometimes, no treatment is required. If symptoms are present, one of the following may be required.

5. Graves' disease

Graves' disease is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune cells mistake the thyroid cells to be foreign substances and attack them, causing overproduction of thyroid hormones.

Causes

Symptoms

Diagnosis

Treatment

There is no cure for Graves' disease. Medicines cannot stop the immune system from continuing to attack the gland. But, symptoms can be managed with certain medications.

Know the Facts

Thyroid Disease

For more information consult a thyroid specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/endocrinologist/thyroid

 

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Last reviewed at:
27 Feb 2019  -  7 min read

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