Thyroid: Cause, Symptoms and Treatment

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The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland situated in the throat. It produces hormones necessary for the proper functioning of the body. As it affects weight, metabolism, mood and even the functioning of the body cells, an imbalance of this hormone results in either Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).

 Magna Code – Centres for obesity Diabetes and Endocrinology has enlisted the most common causes, symptoms, and treatments of thyroid imbalance: –

Causes of Thyroid Imbalance:

  • Iodine deficiency
  • Autoimmune diseases – A disease in which your immune system attacks your own body, leading to an underactive thyroid (caused due to Grave’s disease) or overactive thyroid (caused due to Hashimoto’s disease).
  • Virus or bacteria leading to inflammation in the thyroid gland – which may or may not cause pain.
  • Non-cancerous nodules or lumps inside the thyroid gland.
  • Cancerous nodules in the thyroid gland.
  • Certain medical treatments such as radiation therapy, thyroid surgery, and few medicines.
  • Genetic disorders.

Types of Thyroid Imbalance

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid gland secretes less than the required amounts of hormones i.e. an underactive thyroid, which may lead to slowing down of your bodily functions.

The Initial Symptoms of Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism) May Include:

  • Weight Gain
  • Fatigue
  • Depression and irritability
  • Higher cholesterol levels
  • Slower heart rate
  • Dry or brittle hair
  • Memory problems
  • Cold intolerance
  • Constipation or sluggish bowels

 

Hyperthyroidism

When the thyroid gland produces excess amounts of hormones it is said to an overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism. This causes bodily functions to speed up.

The Most Common Symptoms of an Overactive Thyroid (Hyperthyroidism) May Include:

  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Nervousness and irritability
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Thyroid gland enlargement
  • Tremors
  • Heat intolerance
  • Frequent bowel movement

Treatment of Thyroid Imbalance

For thyroid disorders stemming from either over-production or under-production of the thyroid hormone, treatment generally aims at restoring the proper balance of the thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) in the body.

For hypothyroidism, the most common treatment is to give the patient hormone replacement medication to make up for the under produced levels of thyroid hormone.

Whereas, for hyperthyroidism treatments are done to slow down the production of these hormones. Drugs and surgery are usually effective ways to adjust hormone levels. Furthermore, treatments like diet supplements, herbal remedies and exercise regimes are helpful in easing out the discomforts caused by the symptoms of thyroid imbalance as well as help the thyroid gland work better.

Diagnosis:

The diagnosis of thyroid imbalance can usually be done through a simple blood test, but commonly doctors fail to check the TSH or other thyroid levels in these tests as the symptoms of the thyroid are very common and often resonate with various conditions.

Another reason for misdiagnosis is that the doctors do not always agree on how to read thyroid – related blood test reports.

Until the last decade, doctors generally agreed that the TSH levels between 0.5 to 5.0 were normal, but some endocrinologists worried that such a broad interpretation of results may result in people being undiagnosed and remain untreated.

Recently, The National American Association of Clinical Endocrinologist suggested narrowing the definition of “normal levels” of TSH between 0.3 to 3.0. Whereas, anything between 2.5 – 4.0 mlU/L is considered “at risk”.

Thyroid condition if misdiagnosed or left untreated for longer durations can lead to fatal diseases such as cancer.

To get the most accurate diagnosis and proper treatment in time contact the endocrinologist at the Magna Code today!  

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