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Want to know about thyroid problems and its causes, symptoms, and treatment? Then you don’t need to worry anymore! You are on the right page!
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland of our body that is situated in the neck and contains two connected lobes. Usually, the thyroid gland secretes 2 iodine-containing hormones named, triiodothyronine (T3) and tetraiodothyronine that is also termed as thyroxine (T4). A peptide-based hormone calcitonin also gets secreted from this gland. These thyroid hormones are essential for your metabolic health as well as have many different functions!
Women suffer way more than men with problems regarding thyroid hormones. To get these hormones under control you need to follow a simple diet and change your lifestyle a little.
Well, in this article we will tell you everything about the thyroid gland, its hormones, related problems, their causes. Symptoms, and treatments.
What is Thyroid?
The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland that contains two connected lobes and is situated in the neck. The lower portion of these two lobes is connected with thyroid isthmus that is a thin band of tissue also known as the isthmus bridge. The gland is located just below Adam’s apple at the front of the neck.
Microscopically the thyroid gland consists of spherical thyroid follicles. These follicles are lined by thyroid follicular cells named thyrocytes. It also contains parafollicular cells occasionally. These cells surround the lumen named colloid.
The thyroid gland secretes three hormones, T3 (Triiodothyronine), T4 (Tetraiodothyronine or Thyroxin), and Calcitonin. These thyroid hormones have a wide range of effects on our bodies. They increase the BMR (basal metabolic rate) and heart rate and strength. Also, these hormones are essential for normal cell developments and calcium homeostasis.
The secretions of T3 and T4 are controlled by the thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH. Anterior pituitary of our brain secrets this TSH. The secretion of TSH is regulated by thyroid releasing hormone, commonly known as TRH that is produced in the hypothalamus of the brain.
The most common thyroid problems start after any of the above-mentioned glands start showing any abnormalities. The most common type of thyroid problem includes the abnormal production of thyroid hormones. These problems can be treated right away if they can be diagnosed early.
Types of Thyroid Problems
There are some specific types of thyroid disorders, let’s check them!
Goiter: Goiter or goitre is derived from the Latin name, gutturia, meaning throat. It is a hormonal condition in which the thyroid gland swells. The main cause of this disease is iodine deficiency. Another name of this hormonal disease is Hashimoto’s disease.
Thyroiditis: The inflammation of the thyroid gland is termed thyroiditis. It can be a type of autoimmune disease or can be caused by some viral infections. Thyroiditis can show some severe symptoms like a goiter or no symptoms at all.
Hyperthyroidism: When the thyroid gland starts secreting excessive amounts of T3 and T4, the condition is called hyperthyroidism. This is also called Grave’s disease. There are some common symptoms of this condition such as excessive sweating, increased bowel movements, fatigue, weakness, irregular menstruation, rapid heartbeat, sleep disturbance, etc.
Hypothyroidism: When the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones then the condition is called hypothyroidism. Common causes of this condition are autoimmune disease and treatment of hyperthyroidism. The signs of this hormonal condition vary from person to person. People can gain weight and still feel fatigued. The symptoms progress gradually over the years.
Thyroid Cancer: Well, thyroid cancer is a very uncommon type of cancer and it is curable if diagnosed early. To treat thyroid cancer the obvious methods of cancer treatments are used like surgery, radiation, and hormone treatments.
Thyroid Nodule: Thyroid Nodule is a small abnormal lump that forms in the thyroid gland. This can cause hyperthyroidism by secreting an excessive amount of thyroid hormone.
Thyroid Storm: Thyroid storm is the most uncommon type of thyroid disease. In this condition, the thyroid gland starts secreting excessive amounts of T3 and T4 and can cause severe illness.
Levels of Thyroid Hormones and Related Hormones
Normal Levels of TSH for Adults
The normal level of TSH for adults are-
|Age Limit (Years)||Normal Limit of TSH (mU/L)|
Normal Levels of TSH for Children
Normal levels of TSH for children are-
|Age Limit||Level of TSH (mU/L)|
|20 weeks-16 years||0.55-5.31|
Normal Levels of TSH During Pregnancy
The normal level of TSH in case of a pregnant woman are-
|Stage of Pregnancy||Level of TSH (mU/L)|
Normal Level of T3 and T4
|Hormone||Reference Range (mU/L)|
Symptoms of Thyroid Diseases
All of the above-mentioned thyroid hormone conditions come with different symptoms. Let’s check the signs and symptoms of these diseases.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism:
- Dry skin
- Brittle hair
- Unwanted weight gain and obesity
- Fluid retentions
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Muscle weakness
- Joint pain
- Prolonged and abnormal menstruation
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism:
- Severe weight loss
- Losing control of muscles
- Increasing heart rate
- Heat intolerance
- Loose motion
- Excessive Sweating
- Lack of concentration
Symptoms of Goiter:
- Enlarged thyroid gland and neck
- A goiter is the common sign of hyperthyroidism, thus the symptoms are quite similar.
Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer:
- Swelling of neck
- Sudden breakage of voice
- Prolonged sore throat
- Difficult breathing
- Constant cough
Causes of Thyroid Diseases
There are different types of Thyroid disorders, such as hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroid cancer, etc.
Common causes of hypothyroidism:
- Grave’s disease
- Multinodular goiter and functioning adenoma
- Abnormal secretion of TSH
- Inflammation of thyroid gland
- Excessive intake of iodine
Common causes of hypothyroidism:
- Hypothyroidism can be an autoimmune condition that enlarges the thyroid gland
- The resistance of Thyroid hormones by the cells
- Inflammation of the thyroid gland
Prevention of Thyroid Disorders
Well, you can prevent any thyroid disorders prior.
Eat a Balanced Diet
A balanced diet is a diet that contains the 6 main ingredients of foods such as, carbohydrates, proteins, fat, minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. Consume nutritious food every day. Eat something every 2 hours in small controlled portions. Remember to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Follow A Proper Exercise Regime
Remember if you have any thyroid-related problems then do not over-exercise. Too much exercise can convert your cortisol level into a metabolic T3 hormone.
We all know that smoking is very injurious to your health. To keep your endocrine glands healthy you need to quit smoking as soon as possible, Try out the nicotine patches to overcome your cigarette cravings.
If anyone in your family had any thyroid-related problems then consult a doctor to check yourselves. Go for the TSH, T3, and T4 blood tests to know if your thyroid gland is working properly or not.
Treatment of Thyroid Problems
Treatment of thyroid-related problems is normally easy. You just need to remember a few points.
- Make sure to take the prescribed medicines regularly
- Consume a balanced diet
- Take a good amount of calcium, magnesium, and protein
- Reduce your salt intake
- Go for regular check-ups
- Regularly intake the medicines your doctor has prescribed
- Go for regular blood tests and check-ups
- Take calcium and iodine supplements if necessary
- Notice the side effects
- Follow a healthy lifestyle
For Thyroid Cancer
The treatment of thyroid cancer is similar to any other type of cancer treatment.
- Go for a thyroidectomy surgery (Removing thyroid glands partially)
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Chemotherapy and radiation
Home Remedies of Thyroid Related Problems
Well, these home remedies are not exclusively proved. But you can try them out. These remedies do not have any side effects.
Things You Should Eat
- Fresh fruits and nuts
- Green vegetables
- Yogurt and other milk products
- Fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids
Things You Should Avoid
- Foods rich with carbohydrate
- High cholesterol animal protein
- Processed foods like chips, burger, pizza, etc
OTC Medicine for Thyroid Related Problems
Thyroid is one of the most important endocrine glands that secretes three main hormones, triiodothyronine, tetraiodothyronine (thyroxine) and calcitonin. All of these three hormones are very essential for digestion, growth, hair growth, sexual life etc. Every other hormone and body’s all other activities can be affected with a wrong thyroid level. Therefore, we incorporated every thought on thyroid symptoms, causes, treatment, medication in this article for you!
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