Thyroid And Its Diseases
What is Thyroid?
Thyroid is a butterfly shaped endocrine gland situated in the neck which produces thyroid hormones that provide energy to cells of the body and regulate the body’s metabolism. Thyroid disorders affect the weight, energy levels, and other aspects of the health.
Undiagnosed thyroid problems increase the risk of obesity, hair loss, infertility, anxiety, depression and other health problems. Most common thyroid problems include
✦ Hypothyroidism (An underactive thyroid),
✦ Hyperthyroidism (An overactive thyroid),
✦ Goitre (An enlarged thyroid),
✦ Thyroid nodules (Lumps in the thyroid gland),
✦ Thyroid cancer and
✦ Thyroiditis – Inflammation of the thyroid
What are the symptoms?
Thyroid problems may present due to poor functioning or over functioning
a) Poor functioning (hypothyroidism)
Fatigue weight gain, hair loss, slow movements, intolerance to cold, cold and dry skin, depression, constipation, swelling in legs, menstrual disorders in women.
b) Over functioning (hyperthyroidism)
Increased appetites, tremors, changes in menstrual pattern, weight loss, anxiety, nervousness, increased sweating, muscle fatigue, difficulty falling asleep.
c) Swelling of the gland also known as goiter is an enlargement of the gland and may be associated with a hypo, hyper or normal functioning gland.
d) Thyroid nodules are lumps in the gland which may be caused by cysts, tumors – benign or rarely malignant. They may cause cosmetic disfigurement or if large may compress neighboring structures
e) Thyroid cancer is seen more often in females may present as a distant metastasis. Has a good prognosis if diagnosed early.