Thyroid disorders are conditions that affect the thyroid gland, located in the neck. The thyroid gland makes hormones that control your body’s energy and speed up or slow down the way your body works. When the thyroid doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone, this is called hypothyroidism (low thyroid function). Most people don’t have any symptoms of hypothyroidism until they have been living with low thyroid function for a while. But because our bodies can’t live without enough thyroid hormone, eventually the cells in our body will stop working right without it.
The thyroid gland, which sits at your throat, releases hormones that regulate how fast your body uses energy, makes proteins, and controls how sensitive your body is to other hormones. It’s important for normal growth and development. There are a number of diseases that can affect your thyroid, including Hashimoto’s disease (hypothyroidism), overactive thyroid syndrome (hyperthyroidism), inflammation of your thyroid (thyroiditis), goiters or nodules in your thyroid. Some symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, muscle aches or weakness, dry skin and feeling very hot when others feel cold; some also experience hair loss due to a reduction in hormones.
Start By Understanding The Four Different Types Of Thyroid Conditions
The thyroid, or what’s commonly known as your thyroid gland, is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland found in your neck. Although small in size, it makes up one of the largest endocrine glands in your body. One of its main jobs—like any other organ—is to release hormones that can then travel through your bloodstream and affect every part of your body. If you feel tired but you’re not sure why? Your thyroid could be to blame. The most common type of condition doctors encounter when treating people for a slow-moving or underactive thyroid—and one we see often at The Mount Sinai Medical Center—is an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s disease.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can include a fast heart rate, weight loss, nervousness, muscle weakness and fatigue. In addition, your skin may feel warm or you may be sweaty. Some people may have headaches or palpitations as well. Since one of these symptoms is typically fast heart rate, make sure to contact your doctor if you have any concerns. He or she can order blood tests that will let you know whether you have hyperthyroidism or not. Treatment includes medications such as beta blockers that slow down your heart rate while working on fixing your overactive thyroid gland at the same time. Your doctor will also help lower your heart rate through lifestyle changes such as stress management and exercise.
If you’re experiencing unexplained weight gain or fatigue, ask your doctor about hypothyroidism, which can be treated effectively by taking a synthetic hormone called levothyroxine. Hypothyroidism causes cells in your body to slow down, resulting in less energy that can lead to weight gain, especially around your midsection. Weight loss isn’t impossible with hypothyroidism; it just takes more effort because you have less energy to burn. Combining an exercise program and a healthy diet with medication will give you the best chance of losing weight and keeping it off as well as improve other symptoms.
These are growths or nodules in or on your thyroid gland. They can be small or large. Most of them don’t cause any symptoms and can be safely ignored. If they’re large enough to make you feel like you’re swallowing a lump in your throat, you may want to have them checked out by a doctor. Some doctors will remove them if they’re causing problems, although some will just watch them over time because they usually stay small (although sometimes they can grow). You don’t need treatment for most small ones unless they cause problems that really bother you.
Typically, a goiter makes your neck appear swollen. However, some people may not have symptoms; as a result, some goiters are only found during medical tests. Thyroid goiters occur when your body does not produce enough thyroid hormone or if you have an iodine deficiency or exposure to radioactive iodine for diagnostic procedures or treatment of hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid). If you think you might have a goiter but do not know what type of treatment would be best for you, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
If your thyroid gland has enlarged, you’ll be able to feel an enlargement in your neck (Goiter). While goiters are unsightly, they’re rarely problematic for most people. They’re particularly common in areas of poverty or where there’s a lack of access to iodine. The good news is that goiters can usually be easily removed through surgery. If one appears, be sure you discuss it with your doctor, who will confirm its existence via palpation (feeling) and/or x-ray.
How to deal with thyroid?
Thyroid problems include both hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). Causes of these conditions can be genetic, autoimmune or structural. Treatment involves use of medications along with lifestyle changes that help maintain blood sugar levels within a healthy range. Surgery may also be needed in some cases, especially if medication fails to control symptoms. In hypothyroidism, excess levels of serum TSH signal a decrease in hormones released by your thyroid gland. This causes symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, hair loss and constipation. There are many treatment options for patients suffering from hypothyroidism – which one you choose depends on whether your condition is temporary or permanent, as well as on other factors specific to you.