What is a thyroid?
Thyroid is a tiny, butterfly-shaped gland that can be found near the base of the neck, directly below the middle of the throat. The thyroid gland is a complex system of glands known as the endocrine system. The endocrine system is in charge of coordinating many bodily functions and producing hormones that control one's body metabolism.
What triggers thyroid illness?
Your thyroid gland's main job is to release the hormone thyroxine, also known as T4, which is then transformed into the hormone triiodothyronine or T3. The bloodstream is where T3 and T4 hormones circulate, helping to control your body's metabolism. The amount of T4 that the thyroid gland should generate is determined by a hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone, or TSH, produced by the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland either creates more or less TSH depending on the T4 levels in your body to signal the thyroid gland to make the proper quantity of T4.
When the thyroid cannot operate correctly—either by releasing too much or not enough T4 hormone—thyroid illness develops. The appearance of a lump or nodule brought on by an enlarged thyroid gland, also known as a goitre, is one of the most typical and early signs of a thyroid condition. There are three primary forms of thyroid illness.
When the thyroid gland does not create enough thyroid hormone in the bloodstream, it is known as hypothyroidism. Your body's metabolism slows down, which further impacts your complete being. Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid disease, is more prevalent in women than men. Additionally, those older than 60 are more likely to get the condition. Hypothyroidism symptoms typically appear gradually and go unnoticed, leading to a later diagnosis of the illness.
Common signs of hypothyroidism include:
Sensitivity to cold
Slow motion and thinking
Weakness, cramping, and muscle aches
Scaly and dry skin
Fragile nails and hair
Loss of sex drive
There is pain, numbness, and tingling in hand and fingers.
Irregular or lengthy menstrual cycle.
When you have hyperthyroidism, your thyroid produces and releases more hormones than you require. Hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid, affects women ten times more frequently than men. The age range typically impacted by this type is 20 to 40 years old. A medical practitioner should be seen for the treatment of hyperthyroidism because it can have a considerable impact on your entire body.
Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism may vary from person to person, and that includes:
Anxiety or irritation
Difficulty with heat
Tremor, typically in your hands
Erratic and rapid heartbeat
Diarrhoea or frequent bowel motions
Loss of weight
Goitre is an enlarged thyroid that could give the appearance of a bloated neck. It can occasionally make it difficult to breathe or swallow.
The thyroid gland, a little gland at the base of the neck that produces hormones, is a target of the rare malignancy known as thyroid cancer. People in their 30s and older suffer from it the most frequently. Women are two to three times as likely as men to develop it. Although it can occasionally return after therapy, thyroid cancer is typically treatable and, in many cases, entirely curable. Thyroid cancer mostly comes in four different forms. These include anaplastic, papillary, follicular, and medullary. Most often, papillary is the typical kind. The level of aggression varies amongst the four categories. Early-stage thyroid cancer can frequently be effectively treated.
The most typical signs are,
Growth at the base of Adam's apple in the front of the neck
Neck glands that are enlarged
Having trouble swallowing
Having trouble breathing
Neck or throat discomfort
Coughing that is not caused by a cold
Common warning signs of thyroid disease
Even though everyone's thyroid symptoms are unique, the following list of warning indicators should make you wary. Remember to have it checked by a medical specialist if you believe you have thyroid disease or if you feel you have the below-mentioned symptoms because it will provide you with reliable confirmation.
The weariness felt by people with hypothyroidism and other thyroid problems are very different from normal fatigue or weariness. If a good night's sleep is all it takes to cure someone from feeling weary, that is not the case for someone with thyroid illness. Additionally, middle-aged women find it much more challenging to differentiate because fatigue is a very typical symptom of menopause in women. Therefore, if you have acute, never-ending exhaustion, it could be the first sign of a thyroid condition.
2. Gaining Weight
Your thyroid affects your weight because it controls your metabolism. Your body's metabolism won't function properly if your thyroid hormones fluctuate, leading to weight gain. A patient's basal metabolic rate, or BMR, was one of the first tools to test for thyroid abnormalities. This test measures the amount of oxygen your body utilises over a predetermined time to evaluate your metabolism. A low BMR score in this situation would suggest hypothyroidism. Most people with hypothyroidism will gain a little weight, which may not be noticeable. Severe hypothyroidism, however, can lead to a considerably more pronounced weight gain.
3. Losing weight
Hyperthyroidism will cause weight loss if hypothyroidism causes weight gain. This is brought on by the hyperactive hormones in your thyroid gland. The BMR findings would be much above average in such circumstances. The degree of the disease will determine how much weight is lost. A hyperactive thyroid burns more calories than a healthy or underactive thyroid. Therefore, you will eventually lose weight if you don't meet the higher calorie requirements. In some situations, hyperthyroidism also makes a person more hungry, which might lead to some weight gain. This demonstrates the complexity of the thyroid and how it affects your metabolism and weight.
4. A Slowing Heartbeat
The condition of your thyroid might impact your cardiac health. For instance, hypothyroidism causes insufficient thyroid hormone, slowing heart rate. This may cause you to experience more than simply a slow heartbeat. Inadequate thyroid hormone can also make your arteries less elastic, which makes blood circulation more challenging and leads to high blood pressure. Hypothyroidism can cause both hypotension and hypertension. Because of the low heart rate and low cardiac output associated with hypothyroidism, hypotension is more typical and common than hypertension. Additionally, greater cholesterol levels might result from hypothyroidism.
5. Boost in Heart Rate
People with hyperthyroidism are more likely to suffer an elevated heart rate than one that has slowed down. When the thyroid hormone production is excessive, the heart can beat more rapidly, forcefully, and with erratic rhythms.
The result is
The higher heart chambers experience atrial fibrillation, an erratic heartbeat.
Heart palpitations, happen when you suddenly notice your heartbeat.
People with hyperthyroidism might also develop high blood pressure, just like those with hypothyroidism. Due to their high blood pressure and congested arteries, people with hyperthyroidism also experience chest pains.
6. Experiencing extreme heat or cold
Since circulation and body pressure are intimately related, having poor circulation could make you feel colder than other people in the room. You may be experiencing hypothyroidism symptoms if you find that you are consistently cold and want to reach for a sweater or blanket despite everyone else in the room feeling OK.
And hyperthyroidism is the exact opposite. You will experience hot flashes or more perspiration than usual in this situation.
7. Hair loss
You will lose hair as it grows, so you shouldn't be surprised if you have some typical hair loss, which is normal. There is cause for concern if you notice that your hair is getting thinner than it used to be or that you have bald spots; because hyperthyroidism may be the cause. Don't hesitate to see a doctor if you think you are suffering from any hair loss issues.
8. Digestive Problems
Constipation problems are one of the most frequently reported signs of hypothyroidism, but those with hyperthyroidism more typically see loose stools. Therefore, a thyroid condition may be to blame if you have seen any recent changes in your digestive patterns.
9. Modifications to the Menstrual Cycle or Sexual Function
Your thyroid may be to blame if you notice that your period is becoming more irregular, painful, or heavy than usual or if you are exhibiting more intense emotional PMS symptoms. You can also have trouble engaging in or enjoying yourself during sexual activity. You might also be dealing with a thyroid-related sign if you are experiencing problems with libido, getting orgasms, or maintaining an erection.
10. The Eyes Change
There are many ways that thyroid problems might impact your eyes. This includes double vision, difficulty closing your eyelids, bulging eyes, dry eyes, watery eyes, red eyes, a "stare," and changes in eyesight. This is most often the case because the immune system, which is strongly linked to the ocular system and affected by thyroid changes, is out of balance. Bulging eyes are most commonly associated with hyperthyroidism. Because it will happen gradually, you probably won't notice that your eyes are dilated. Instead, it is most probable that other people will pick up on this symptom first.
When should you seek medical advice?
Even if you are unsure whether you have a thyroid condition, it is best to see a doctor.
Don't try to treat yourself on your own and find a solution.
To acquire a better understanding of the disease, even if it is just a mild symptom, it is preferable to speak with your doctor who specialises in this area since prevention is always better than cure.
With Polaris healthcare, you can now schedule professional assistance from the convenience of your home.
Our highly qualified team of specialists will ensure that you receive the appropriate diagnoses and treatments for your thyroid issues. Schedule your appointment online.
About The Author: Dr. Ujwala Patil
Dr. Ujwala Patil provides specialist advice in gynecology and obstetrics. She is the founder of Polaris Health Care and is an experienced gynecologist. She completed her M.B.B.S. from the renowned B.J. Medical College, Pune, has undergone F.O.G.S.I. training in Infertility and is certified in Cervical cytology and colonoscopy. She has also been empaneled as a gynecologist at Surya and Life point hospitals. She has handled many high-risk obstetric cases and has conducted more than 1000 deliveries. Her expert advice dipped in care is accessible to women from all walks of life.