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What Is Thyroid And Its Symptoms

What Does The Thyroid Do

Thyroid: Symptoms, Causes & Diagnosis – Max Hospital

Your thyroid has an important job to do within your body releasing and controlling thyroid hormones that control metabolism. Metabolism is a process where the food you take into your body is transformed into energy. This energy is used throughout your entire body to keep many of your bodys systems working correctly. Think of your metabolism as a generator. It takes in raw energy and uses it to power something bigger.

The thyroid controls your metabolism with a few specific hormones T4 and T3 . These two hormones are created by the thyroid and they tell the bodys cells how much energy to use. When your thyroid works properly, it will maintain the right amount of hormones to keep your metabolism working at the right rate. As the hormones are used, the thyroid creates replacements.

This is all supervised by something called the pituitary gland. Located in the center of the skull, below your brain, the pituitary gland monitors and controls the amount of thyroid hormones in your bloodstream. When the pituitary gland senses a lack of thyroid hormones or a high level of hormones in your body, it will adjust the amounts with its own hormone. This hormone is called thyroid stimulating hormone . The TSH will be sent to the thyroid and it will tell the thyroid what needs to be done to get the body back to normal.

If Hyperthyroidism Is Untreated It Can Lead To A Life

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti | Published : September 12, 2017 1:24 PM IST

Uncontrolled or untreated thyroid imbalance can lead to thyroid storm. It is a rare but life-threatening condition that is mostly seen in people with hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis. Also known as thyrotoxic crisis, thyroid storm calls for medical emergency. As thyroid storm affects the organs and aggravates the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, it has a high mortality rate of 10 – 20% . Although Grave’s disease is the most common underlying disorder that leads to thyroid storm, there is usually an underlying condition that triggers the condition to a life-threatening condition. In the past, it mostly occurred after surgery for thyrotoxicosis. So if you have heard about it, but wondering what are its symptoms and how to deal with it, here’s what you need to know about thyroid storm. Here’s how to read your medical test report: Thyroid function tests.

Thyroid storm — what are its symptoms?

If thyroid storm is caused due to end-stage thyrotoxicosis, it can manifest as tachycardia heart failure, diarrhoea, dehydration, vomiting, delirium, tremor, restlessness and extreme agitation. High-grade fever, which is higher than 105.8 F, is typical in people with thyroid storm. In extreme cases, it can also lead to psychosis.

Other Causes Of Hypothyroidism

In some cases, hypothyroidism results from a problem with the pituitary gland, which is at the base of the brain. This gland produces thyroid-stimulating hormone , which tells the thyroid to do its job. If your pituitary gland does not produce enough TSH, levels of thyroid hormones will fall. Other causes of hypothyroidism include temporary inflammation of the thyroid or medications that affect thyroid function.

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Caring For Your Incision

Your surgeon will talk to you about whether you should continue to wear a dressing over your incision. Depending on the surgeon, you may have stitches that will need to be removed or absorbable sutures that will not. If steri-strips were applied, these will usually stay in place for around a week. Most surgeons recommend leaving these alone until they fall off by themselves, rather than trying to remove them.

You will probably be able to shower, but should try to keep your neck as dry as possible. You should not submerge, soak, or scrub your incision, and bathing in a tub should be avoided until you see your surgeon. After showering, you can lightly pat your neck dry or use a hair dryer set on the “cool” setting.

Your incision may appear red and hard at first, and you may notice some slight swelling and bruising around the scar. If you experience itching, applying scar gel or aloe may provide relief, but talk to your surgeon before doing so. The hardening typically peaks about three weeks after surgery and then subsides over the next two to three months.

In time, your incision will turn pink and then white, and most are completely healed in six to nine months.

Blood Lymph And Nerve Supply

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The thyroid is supplied with arterial blood from the superior thyroid artery, a branch of the external carotid artery, and the inferior thyroid artery, a branch of the thyrocervical trunk, and sometimes by an anatomical variant the thyroid ima artery, which has a variable origin. The superior thyroid artery splits into anterior and posterior branches supplying the thyroid, and the inferior thyroid artery splits into superior and inferior branches. The superior and inferior thyroid arteries join together behind the outer part of the thyroid lobes. The venous blood is drained via superior and middle thyroid veins, which drain to the internal jugular vein, and via the inferior thyroid veins. The inferior thyroid veins originate in a network of veins and drain into the left and right brachiocephalic veins. Both arteries and veins form a plexus between the two layers of the capsule of the thyroid gland.

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Muscle Aches And Trouble Swallowing

Muscle aches throughout the body are sometimes associated with abnormal thyroid levels. If your muscle aches have recently onset without any other obvious causes, a thyroid disorder is one likely cause. Rarely, muscle breakdown can also occur. If you find that you are unable to build toned muscle, reach out to your physician.

On a similar vein, because the thyroid is located in the neck, the neck muscles are usually the first to experience these symptoms. This includes the muscles associated with swallowing. If you are struggling to swallow, this could be another signs of thyroid problems.

What Is The Thyroid

The thyroid gland is a small organ thats located in the front of the neck, wrapped around the windpipe . Its shaped like a butterfly, smaller in the middle with two wide wings that extend around the side of your throat. The thyroid is a gland. You have glands throughout your body, where they create and release substances that help your body do a specific thing. Your thyroid makes hormones that help control many vital functions of your body.

When your thyroid doesnt work properly, it can impact your entire body. If your body makes too much thyroid hormone, you can develop a condition called hyperthyroidism. If your body makes too little thyroid hormone, its called hypothyroidism. Both conditions are serious and need to be treated by your healthcare provider.

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What Is Thyroid Disease/disorder And What Are Its Symptoms And Causes

Thyroid disease is a normal term of the medical situation when the thyroid gland fails to produce the right amount of thyroid hormones, which are triiodothyronine and thyroxine. When the thyroid gland produces and releases too many amounts of thyroid hormones. Our body uses too much energy, which leads us to get tired. It causes an increase in heart rate, loss of body weight. On the other hand, if the thyroid produces too few thyroid hormones it can lead to an unexpected increase in weight, getting tired very often, and being unable to tolerate less temperature which means cold. Thyroid disease can also be passed down from the aged to family members because of its inheritance nature.

Can Hyperthyroidism Be Prevented Or Avoided

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You cannot prevent hyperthyroidism. However, some people are more at risk for the condition. This includes people who:

  • Were born female.
  • Have a family history of thyroid disease.
  • Are younger than 40 or older than 60.
  • Have certain problems, such as type 1 diabetes, pernicious anemia, or an immune system disorder.
  • Consume large amounts of iodine, either through food or medicine

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Trouble Concentrating Or Remembering

Many patients with hypothyroidism complain of mental fogginess and trouble concentrating. The way this mental fogginess presents itself varies by person.

In one study, 22% of low-thyroid individuals described increased difficulty doing everyday math, 36% described thinking more slowly than usual and 39% reported having a poorer memory .

In another study of 14 men and women with untreated hypothyroidism, the participants showed difficulty remembering verbal cues .

The causes for this are not yet fully understood, but difficulties in memory improve with treatment of low thyroid hormone .

Difficulties in memory or concentration can happen to everyone, but if they are sudden or severe, they could be a signal of hypothyroidism.

Summary: Hypothyroidism can cause mental fogginess and difficulty concentrating. It may also impair certain kinds of memory.

How Is Hyperthyroidism Diagnosed

Contact your doctor if you have symptoms of an overactive thyroid. He or she will check for an enlarged thyroid gland, rapid pulse, moist skin, eye changes, and a slight tremor in your fingers or hand. Your doctor also will do a blood test to measure the amount of thyroid hormone in your blood. This confirms the diagnosis.

Your doctor may do a thyroid scan to find the cause. If your entire thyroid is affected, you have Graves disease. Or the doctor will look for thyroid nodules or an inflammation.

Your doctor also may do a radioactive iodine uptake test. This test measures your thyroids ability to take up iodine. A high uptake of iodine means your thyroid gland may be producing too much hormone. This indicates Graves disease or a hyperfunctioning thyroid nodule. A low uptake of iodine indicates thyroiditis as the cause.

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How Are Thyroid Diseases Diagnosed

It can be hard to tell if you have a thyroid disease. The symptoms are the same as many other health problems. Your doctor may start by asking about your health history and if any of your family members has had thyroid disease. Your doctor may also give you a physical exam and check your neck for thyroid nodules.

Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may also do other tests, such as:

  • Blood tests. Testing the level of thyroid stimulating hormone in your blood can help your doctor figure out if your thyroid is overactive or underactive. TSH tells your thyroid to make thyroid hormones. Depending on the results, your doctor might do another blood test to check levels of one or both thyroid hormones in your blood.
  • Radioactive iodine uptake test. For this test, you swallow a liquid or capsule that holds a small dose of radioactive iodine . The radioiodine collects in your thyroid because your thyroid uses iodine to make thyroid hormone.

High levels of radioiodine mean that your thyroid makes too much of the thyroid hormone. Low levels mean that your thyroid does not make enough thyroid hormone.

  • Thyroid ultrasound. The thyroid ultrasound uses sound waves to make a picture of the thyroid on a computer screen. This test can help your doctor tell what type of nodule you have and how large it is. You may need more thyroid ultrasounds over time to see if your nodule is growing or shrinking.
  • Who Is At Risk For Hypothyroidism

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    You may be more likely to have hypothyroidism if you:

    • Are a woman
    • Are older than age 60
    • Have had thyroid problems or thyroid surgery in the past
    • Have a family history of thyroid problems
    • Have certain conditions, such as type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
    • Have Turner syndrome, a genetic condition that affects women
    • Are pregnant or have had a baby within the past 6 months
    • Have an iodine deficiency. Your body needs iodine to make thyroid hormone.

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    Changes In Menstrual Periods

    Because hyperthyroidism tells your body to move faster, the menstrual cycle can become lighter and faster. You may also notice longer periods of time in between your periods.

    On their own, these symptoms may indicate other medical problems. However, when you or your doctor identify more than one of these symptoms at a time, there is a good chance its due to thyroid problems.

    Thankfully, most thyroid disorders are treatable and are not life-threatening. However, if you notice a rapid heart rate and experience either a fever or deliriousness, you should call your doctor immediately. These are signs of a hyperthyroid complication called thyrotoxic crisis.

    Weight Gain Is Often One Of The First Signs Of Hypothyroidism

    Weight gain is perhaps one of the first noticeable symptoms of hypothyroidism in patients. This is related to a slower than normal metabolism. Your metabolism is responsible for converting calories into energy when the process slows down, your body doesnt use the extra calories and then stores them as fat.

    The weight gained in hypothyroidism isnt sudden. Youll gradually notice mild to moderate weight gain. You may also find losing weight more difficult, or perhaps you gain weight despite diet and exercise. On top of that, you may also feel bloated from hypothyroid-related constipation.

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    Can Thyroid Disease Cause Problems Getting Pregnant

    Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can make it harder for you to get pregnant. This is because problems with the thyroid hormone can upset the balance of the hormones that cause ovulation. Hypothyroidism can also cause your body to make more prolactin, the hormone that tells your body to make breastmilk. Too much prolactin can prevent ovulation.

    Thyroid problems can also affect the menstrual cycle. Your periods may be heavier or irregular, or you may not have any periods at all for several months or longer .

    Other Thyroid Gland Disorders

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    Other disorders of the thyroid gland include:

    • Nodules – lumps in the thyroid. Some are groups of uncontrollably overactive thyroid cells. These are called hot nodules and cause hyperthyroidism. Other nodules are cold. These are generally harmless, but about 20 per cent will be cancerous.
    • Cancer – thyroid cancer is uncommon and is readily treatable, especially if detected early.

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    Thyroid Eye Disease Management

    Thyroid eye disease is a self-limiting disease: if left untreated, the inflammation will gradually go by itself. However, the physical changes caused by the swelling may remain. This is because some of the tissues that have been stretched may not always return to their original form. The aim of treatment is mainly to limit inflammation and swelling occurring during the inflamed period and to protect the surface of the eye. There are also treatments for people whose tissues have not been able to return to their original form after the inflammation has settled.

    Thyroid eye disease is managed by a specialist eye doctor and the underlying thyroid problem by your own doctor or by a a specialist in the hormone systems of the body .

    Favorite Hypothyroid Symptom App

    Unlike other smartphone apps that focus on your health more generally, Boost Thyroid includes specific measurements related to your thyroid health. Not only can you include your T4 and T3 levels after your blood work, but this free app has you track your symptoms, lifestyle, and supplement intake. Such data can be significant when reading it against your lab work, so we suggest showing your doctor the app and your tracking information to see how your symptoms may correlate with your current treatment plan. Download it on Google Play or the App Store.

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    How This Endocrine Gland Functions And What Symptoms Might Be A Clue For Hyperthyroidism And Hypothyroidism

    The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the base of your neck. It releases hormones that control metabolismthe way your body uses energy. The thyroids hormones regulate vital body functions, including:

    • Breathing
    • Central and peripheral nervous systems
    • Body weight
    • Cholesterol levels
    • Much more!

    The thyroid gland is about 2 inches long and lies in front of your throat below the prominence of thyroid cartilage sometimes called the Adam’s apple. The thyroid has two sides called lobes that lie on either side of your windpipe, and is usually connected by a strip of thyroid tissue known as an isthmus. Some people do not have an isthmus, and instead have two separate thyroid lobes.

    Q How To Determine If Youre Suffering From Thyroid Disease

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  • Identifying the symptoms of the thyroid disorder isnt an easy task as most symptoms are hidden and resemble the signs of other diseases and conditions. To check if you suffer from a thyroid problem, you can ask your doctor for a TSH test – a simple blood test that helps you verify your thyroid glands condition. Since there have been cases of thyroid passing through genes, a thorough examination of your family and review of their medical history are two additional measures you must undertake to rule out the possibility of them suffering from thyroid.
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    Spotlight On Aging: Hypothyroidism In Older People

    Many older people have some degree of hypothyroidism. About 10% of women and 6% of men are affected.

    Typical symptoms, such as weight gain, muscle cramps, tingling of the hands, and the inability to tolerate cold, are less common among older people. When such symptoms do occur among older people, they are less obvious.

    Older people may also have less typical symptoms. For example, they may lose weight, become confused, and have a decreased appetite, joint stiffness, joint and muscle pains, weakness, and a tendency to fall.

    Because symptoms in older people can be different, are often subtle and vague, and are common among older people who do not have hypothyroidism, doctors may not recognize these symptoms as being caused by hypothyroidism. A screening test, in which blood levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone are measured, is important. The test should be done at age 65 even if people have no symptoms of hypothyroidism.

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