Several types of problems can arise when your thyroid produces too much hormone or not enough. In this article we have share, some of the most common thyroid-related conditions that one needs to be watchful of.
Thyroid disorders are prevalent conditions that affect the thyroid gland, a small butterfly-shaped organ located in the neck. The thyroid plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism by producing hormones that influence various bodily functions. Common thyroid disorders include hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroid nodules.
Thyroid Disorders & Their Symptoms
- Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. Common symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, dry skin, and constipation. Additionally, individuals with hypothyroidism may experience depression, muscle weakness, and menstrual irregularities in women. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition, is a common cause of hypothyroidism.
- On the opposite end of the spectrum is hyperthyroidism, where the thyroid gland produces an excess of thyroid hormones. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, increased appetite, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, sweating, and irritability. Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder, is a leading cause of hyperthyroidism. It can also result in eye problems such as bulging eyes (exophthalmos).
- Thyroid nodules are growths or lumps on the thyroid gland. While most nodules are non-cancerous, some can be cancerous. Many thyroid nodules are asymptomatic, but some may cause difficulty swallowing, neck pain, or a visible lump in the neck. Regular monitoring and, if necessary, biopsy are crucial for evaluating the nature of thyroid nodules.
- Postpartum thyroiditis is another disorder, typically occurring in the first year after childbirth. It involves inflammation of the thyroid and can lead to temporary hyperthyroidism followed by hypothyroidism. Women may experience fatigue, mood swings, and weight changes.
- Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your thyroid gland. This can cause your gland to overproduce the hormone responsible for regulating your metabolism. Some of the symptoms include anxiety
irritability, fatigue, hand tremors and increased or irregular heart rate
Iodine deficiency can contribute to thyroid disorders, particularly hypothyroidism. Iodine is essential for thyroid hormone production, and a lack of it can lead to goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid gland. While iodine deficiency is less common in regions with sufficient dietary iodine, it remains a concern in some parts of the world.
According to Dr, Dr. Payal Narang, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital Lullanagar, Pune, “It’s crucial to note that these symptoms can vary in severity and may overlap between different thyroid disorders. Diagnosing and managing thyroid disorders often involve blood tests to measure thyroid hormone levels, imaging studies, and, if necessary, thyroid biopsy. In conclusion, thyroid disorders are diverse and can significantly impact overall health. Recognizing the symptoms and seeking medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment is essential for managing these conditions effectively. Regular monitoring and collaboration with healthcare professionals are key components of maintaining thyroid health.”