Thyroid disease is something many people hear of but are often unsure of what exactly it entails. The Thyroid is a gland that is responsible for regulating many bodily functions via the hormones it secretes. If the Thyroid starts to secrete too much or too little of these hormones, it is considered thyroid disease. There are different kinds of thyroid disease, which we’ll elaborate on.
The thyroid gland, located on the front of the neck, is wrapped around the trachea. It is easy to spot on men due to the Adam’s Apple, a projection of the thyroid cartilage at the neck's front. The pituitary gland located behind your nose, near the underside of your brain, monitors and adjusts the amount of thyroid hormone in your body. The thyroid is a gland that is responsible for regulating many bodily functions via the hormones it secretes.
Because the thyroid is responsible for controlling the body’s metabolism, any irregularity in the thyroid gland's functioning has a significant impact on daily life. When the thyroid produces too much hormone, it is called hyperthyroidism. If the body makes too little of the thyroid hormone, it is called hypothyroidism. Both conditions can be very serious if not treated.
Hyperthyroidism causes the body to use up energy too quickly, making you feel nervous while causing excess weight loss. Hypothyroidism, on the other hand, causes you to feel low on energy and experience weight gain. These disorders can be caused as a result of another condition or could be inherited too. Thyroid disease can impact both men and women of all ages and is very common.
Symptoms of thyroid disease are difficult to distinguish from other medical conditions. And occasionally, the symptoms of the disease are so wide-ranging they can mistakenly be attributed to other outside influences such as a busy schedule or mimic other health problems.
Some common hyperthyroidism symptoms include anxiety and irritability, trouble sleeping, weight loss and an irregular menstrual cycle in women. Hypothyroidism's common symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, forgetfulness, lowered tolerance to colder temperatures, and heavy menstrual periods in women.
Even though thyroid disease symptoms can be challenging to diagnose, some tests will provide you with a definite answer. These include blood tests, imaging tests, and physical exams. It is always best to periodically visit a healthcare provider to monitor your thyroid performance if you have other underlying health conditions.
Treatment for thyroid disease includes medication, radioactive iodine treatment, beta-blockers, surgery, or thyroid replacement treatment. Depending on how serious symptoms are and whether you are suffering from hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, a healthcare provider will be able to recommend the most appropriate treatment for you.