Thyroid 101: Thyroid Disease Overview

What is Thyroid?

The thyroid, a butterfly shaped gland which is located in the lower part of the neck. Thyroid gland releases hormones that helps body metabolism. Thyroid hormones create energy for the cells of the body. These hormones help body to use other hormones and vitamins for growth and maturation of other tissues. The main hormones that thyroid releases are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).

Diseases related To Thyroid:

  • Hypothyroidism: This is a situation when the production of thyroid hormone becomes less because thyroid gland gets under-active. The amount of hormone in the blood becomes less than normal and this affects the metabolism. Most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s disease. This is a disease named after Dr. Hakaru Hashimoto, who was the first person to describe this condition. It is a condition caused by inflammation of the thyroid gland. This is an autoimmune disease in which antibodies try to destroy the thyroid gland. Common symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, depression, weight gain, dry skin, Dry, coarse hair, increased cholesterol levels, among others. A severe hypothyroidism can cause heart failure and also may lead to coma.
  • Hyperthyroidism: Exact opposite of the Hypothyroidism, in hyperthyroidism the thyroid gland becomes over-active and produces too much thyroid hormone. In this condition antibodies target the gland and cause it to speed up hormone production. This is an autoimmune disease also known as Graves’ disease.
  • Goitre: In both the cases hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, sometimes thyroid gland becomes larger than normal. This is known as goitre. Goitre can be a result of lack iodine in the diet.
  • Thyroid Cancer: Sometimes solid or liquid filled cysts, lumps, bumps and tumours develop in the thyroid gland. These are known as thyroid nodules; a small percentage of thyroid nodules can turn in to a cancer. Though the percentage is very low but records show it’s on the rise.
  • Thyroiditis : The inflammation of thyroid gland is generally known as thyroiditis. Thyroiditis includes a group of individual disorders that all cause thyroidal inflammation and, as a result, causes many different clinical presentations.

It is important to treat thyroid with a right doctor. Anyone who is concerned that he/she might have a thyroid problem, should visit the doctor soon.

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