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Home > Symptom > Thyroid Symptoms - Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment & Prevention

Thyroid Symptoms - Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment & Prevention

Thyroid Symptoms - Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment & Prevention

Overview of Thyroid

Your thyroid creates and produce hormones that are involved in numerous bodily processes. The over- or underproduction of these vital hormones by your thyroid is a sign of thyroid illness. There are several different types of thyroid disease, including Hashimoto's thyroiditis, thyroiditis, hyperthyroidism, and hypothyroidism.

The thyroid gland affects nearly every metabolic process in your body by producing hormones. From a minor, treatable goiter (enlarged gland) to life-threatening cancer, thyroid disorders can affect everyone. The majority of thyroid issues are caused by aberrant thyroid hormone production. Hyperthyroidism is the effect of having too much thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism results from insufficient hormone production. Although the effects can be unpleasant or inconvenient, most thyroid issues can be effectively managed with correct diagnosis and treatment.

What is Thyroid?

A little gland called the thyroid is found near the front of the neck, around the windpipe (trachea). It looks like a butterfly with a smaller centre and two wide wings that wrap around the side of your throat. A gland, the thyroid is. Your body contains glands, which produce and release compounds that aid various bodily functions. Hormones produced by your thyroid help to control a number of vital body functions.

Your entire body may be affected if your thyroid isn't functioning properly. Hyperthyroidism is a disorder that can occur if your body produces excessive amounts of the thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your body produces insufficient thyroid hormone. Both conditions are hazardous and need your doctor's attention for treatment.

What is Thyroid Disease?

Thyroid illness is a medical condition that stops your thyroid from generating the right number of hormones. Correctly, your thyroid produces the hormones necessary to keep your body operating normally. When the thyroid generates too much thyroid hormone, your body uses energy too quickly. It is known as hyperthyroidism. More than just making you fatigued, using energy too quickly can also make your heart beat quicker, make you lose weight unintentionally, and even make you feel anxious. Contrarily, your thyroid may produce too little thyroid hormone. It is known as hypothyroidism. You may feel exhausted, put on weight, or even find it difficult to endure cold conditions if your body produces too little thyroid hormone.

What Causes Thyroid Problems?

When your thyroid produces too much hormone (hyperthyroidism) or not enough hormone (hypothyroidism), a variety of issues can occur (hypothyroidism).

It can be uncomfortable to experience symptoms like irritation, exhaustion, weight loss, weight gain, and more when your thyroid is underproducing or overproducing.

Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Graves' disease, goitre (enlarged thyroid), and thyroid nodules are four prevalent conditions affecting the thyroid. Learn more about common thyroid conditions, including their symptoms and treatments, by reading on.

The following conditions can result in hypothyroidism:

  • Thyroiditis: This illness causes the thyroid gland to inflame and enlarge. Thyroiditis might lessen your thyroid's capacity to produce hormones.

  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: Hashimoto's thyroiditis is a non-painful autoimmune condition in which the thyroid is attacked and harmed by the body's cells. This condition is inherited.

  • Postpartum thyroiditis: 5% to 9% of women experience postpartum thyroiditis after giving birth. It normally only lasts a short while.

  • Iodine deficiency: The thyroid needs iodine to make hormones. Around the world, many million people suffer from iodine deficiency.

  • A non-functioning thyroid gland: Sometimes, the thyroid gland isn't operating properly from birth. About 1 in 4,000 newborns are impacted by this. The youngster may have physical and mental problems in the future if untreated. All newborns are given a screening blood test in the hospital to examine their thyroid function.

Conditions that can cause hyperthyroidism include:

  • Graves' disease: The thyroid gland as a whole may be overactive and generate excessive amounts of hormone in this condition. Another name for this issue is diffuse toxic goiter (enlarged thyroid gland).

  • Nodules: Excessively active thyroid nodules might result in hyperthyroidism. A goitre with many nodules is referred to as a toxic multi-nodular thyroid nodule, whereas a single one is known as a toxic autonomously functioning thyroid nodule.

  • Thyroiditis: This condition may or may not cause any pain. The thyroid releases hormones that were kept there when it has thyroiditis. This may continue for several weeks or months.

  • Excessive iodine: The thyroid produces more thyroid hormones than it needs when the body contains too much iodine, a mineral that is utilised to manufacture thyroid hormones. Excessive iodine is present in cough syrups and various medications, including the cardiac medicine amiodarone.

Who is Affected by Thyroid Disease?

Anyone, including men, women, kids, teenagers, and the elderly, can acquire thyroid disease. It could appear as you age or it might already exist at birth (often hypothyroidism) (often after menopause in women).

An estimated 20 million people in India are thought to have some form of thyroid disorder, making thyroid disease relatively prevalent. There will be between five and eight times as many women as males with officially diagnosed thyroid issues.

You might be more likely to get thyroid disease if you:

  • Having a family history of Thyroid
  • Have a medical condition (rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 Diabetes, lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome and Turner syndrome)
  • The use of iodine-rich medications (amiodarone).
  • Above 60 years, particularly in women.
  • have received therapy for a thyroid condition or cancer in the previous (thyroidectomy or radiation).

Common Symptoms Can Happen with Thyroid Disease?

There may be a variety of symptoms if you have thyroid disease. Unfortunately, the symptoms of thyroid disease usually match those of other illnesses and stages of life. This can make it difficult to distinguish between a thyroid problem and other potential causes of your symptoms.

The majority of thyroid disease symptoms can be divided into two groups: those linked to excess thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) and those linked to insufficient thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism).

Symptoms of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can include:

  • Experiencing anxiety and irritability

  • Nervousness.

  • Having trouble sleeping.

  • Losing weight.

  • Enlarged thyroid gland or goiter.

  • Having muscle weakness and tremors.

  • Experiencing irregular menstrual periods or having your menstrual cycle stop.

  • Feeling sensitive to heat.

  • Having vision problems or eye irritation.

Symptoms of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can include:

  • Feeling tired (fatigue).

  • Gaining weight.

  • Experiencing forgetfulness.

  • Having frequent and heavy menstrual periods.

  • Having dry and coarse hair.

  • Having a hoarse voice.

  • Experiencing an intolerance to cold temperatures.

Common Signs of Thyroid Disease in Children

Many parents are startled to find that thyroid disease are the most prevalent endocrine disorder among school-age children because thyroid problems are frequently associated with adults. Nearly 37 children per 1,000 are thought to have thyroid illness.

The following signs may point to issues with a child's thyroid, so parents should be on the lookout for them.

  • Feeling jumpy including trembling hands and trouble concentrating

  • Fast heartbeat

  • Enlarged thyroid

  • Sweat and sleep problems

  • Big appetite along with weight loss

  • Wide eyed stare including possible eyes bulging out

  • Other problems can include fainting and looser stool

An autoimmune disorder called Grave's disease, which causes the body to create antibodies that activate the thyroid gland uncontrolled and cause it to produce too much thyroid hormone, is the most frequent cause of hyperthyroidism in children and teenagers.

Signs of hypothyroidism can include:

  • Decreased energy

  • Appearing swollen or puffy

  • Weight gain without increased appetite

  • Decreased growth rate

  • Muscle soreness

  • Constipation or harder stool less often

  • Other problems can include brittle hair and dry skin

Common Signs of Thyroid Disease in Pregnancy

An underactive thyroid gland is a symptom of hypothyroidism, which can occur during pregnancy. Numerous hypothyroidism symptoms resemble those of pregnancy. For instance, both have symptoms of exhaustion, weight gain, and irregular menstruation. Low thyroid hormone levels may potentially make it difficult to conceive or result in miscarriage.

The following are the most thyroid symptoms in pregnancy:

  • Feeling tired

  • Unable to stand cold temperatures

  • Hoarse voice

  • Swelling of the face

  • Weight gain

  • Constipation

  • Skin and hair changes, including dry skin and loss of eyebrows

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (hand tingling or pain)

  • Slow heart rate

  • Muscle cramps

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Irregular menstrual periods

How is Thyroid Disease Diagnosed?

Because the symptoms of thyroid disease are sometimes mistaken for those of other conditions, diagnosing it can occasionally be challenging. When you age or are pregnant, you might have symptoms that are comparable to those you would have if you had thyroid illness. Fortunately, there are tests that can assist in determining whether the origin of your symptoms is a thyroid problem. These tests consist of:

  • Blood Test

Blood testing are one of the most reliable techniques to identify a thyroid issue. By detecting the amount of thyroid hormones in your blood, thyroid blood tests are used to determine whether your thyroid gland is working normally. Blood is drawn for these tests from a vein in your arm. Blood tests for the thyroid are done to check for:

  1. Hyperthyroidism.
  2. Hypothyroidism.

Blood tests for the thyroid are used to identify thyroid conditions linked to hyper- or hypothyroidism. These consist of:

  1. Thyroiditis.
  2. Graves’ disease.
  3. Hashimoto’s disease.
  4. Goiter.
  5. Thyroid nodule.
  6. Thyroid cancer.

The particular blood tests that will be performed to check your thyroid include the following:

  1. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Test - The pituitary gland produces thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which controls the ratio of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream, including T4 and T3. This is often the first test that your doctor will run to check for a thyroid hormone imbalance. The majority of the time, thyroid hormone excess (hyperthyroidism) is linked to a low TSH level, whereas thyroid hormone shortage (hypothyroidism) is linked to a raised TSH level. To further evaluate the situation if TSH is abnormal, it may be essential to measure thyroid hormones directly, such as thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). TSH levels in adults should range from 0.40 to 4.50 mIU/mL. (milli-international units per litre of blood).
  2. T4 Test - Thyroxine is used to evaluate the treatment of thyroid problems and to screen for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. While high T4 levels may signify hyperthyroidism, low T4 levels are seen with hypothyroidism. Adults should have T4 levels between 5.0 and 11.0 ug/dL. (micrograms per deciliter of blood).
  3. Free T4 Test - Free T4 (FT4), also known as free thyroxine, is a way to quantify T4 that does not rely on proteins that naturally bind the hormone and could lead to inaccurate results. Adults should have FT4 levels between 0.9 and 1.7 ng/dL. (nanograms per deciliter of blood)
  4. T3 Test - Triiodothyronine tests are used to identify hyperthyroidism or to assess its severity. Although elevated T3 levels in hyperthyroidism make it easier to diagnose and treat the condition, low T3 levels can also be seen in hypothyroidism. Range of normal T3: 100 to 200 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter of blood).
  5. Free T3 Test - Free T3 (FT3), also known as free triiodothyronine, is a way to quantify T3 that does not rely on proteins that naturally bind the substance and could lead to inaccurate results. Range of the normal FT3: 2.3 to 4.1 pg/mL (picograms per millilitre of blood)
  • Imaging tests

In many cases, taking a look at the thyroid itself can answer a lot of questions. Your doctor may perform a thyroid scan, which is an imaging test. This enables your medical professional to examine your thyroid and search for any changes in size, shape, or growths (nodules).

An ultrasound is an imaging test that your doctor might also utilise. Through the body's tissues, this diagnostic process transmits high-frequency sound waves that are inaudible to the human ear. The echoes are captured and converted into photographic or video images. Although you might associate ultrasounds with pregnancy, they are actually used to diagnose a wide range of bodily problems. Ultrasounds don't use radiation like X-rays do.

Before an ultrasound, there is often little to no preparation. You don't have to fast or alter your diet in advance. You will perform the test while lying flat on a cushioned examination table with your head propped up on a pillow and leaned back. The skin above the area being inspected is covered with a heated, water-soluble gel. Neither your skin nor your clothes will be harmed by this gel. Then, your doctor will gently move a probe around your neck to view the thyroid in all of its components.

Usually, an ultrasound lasts between 20 and 30 minutes.

  • Physical exam

A physical exam performed in the office of your healthcare practitioner is another easy technique to examine the thyroid. Your doctor will feel your neck for any growths or thyroid enlargements during this quick and painless test.

Treatment of Thyroid

Your doctor's goal is to restore the normal range of thyroid hormones in your body. There are many ways to do this, and which one you really choose will depend on what your thyroid issue was.

Treatment options for hyperthyroidism, which is characterised by elevated thyroid hormone levels, can include:

  • Anti-thyroid drugs (methimazole and propylthioracil): These drugs prevent the thyroid from producing hormones.
  • Radioactive iodine: Your thyroid suffers damage from this treatment, which prevents it from producing a lot of thyroid hormones.
  • Beta blockers: These drugs help you manage your symptoms but do not alter the hormone levels in your body.
  • Surgery: Your healthcare professional might remove your thyroid surgically as a more long-lasting method of treatment (thyroidectomy).

The main course of treatment for hypothyroidism, or low thyroid hormone levels, is:

  • Thyroid replacement medication: This medication is a synthetic (man-made) technique to replenish your body's supply of thyroid hormones. Levothyroxine is one such regularly used medication. You may manage thyroid disease and lead a normal life by taking medicine.

Prevention of Thyroid

A tiny, butterfly-shaped gland called the thyroid can be found at the lower front of the neck. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones, which are essential for regulating metabolism and growth. Thyroid problems are relatively common, with around 20 million Indian affected by some form of thyroid disease. However, many people are unaware that they have a problem until it’s too late. In this blog post, we will explore how to prevent thyroid problems before they start. From dietary changes to supplements and more, read on to learn more about how you can keep your thyroid healthy and functioning properly.

  • How to Prevent hypothyroidism

There are a few things you can do to help prevent hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid.

First, make sure you're getting enough iodine in your diet. Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones, so not getting enough can lead to problems. Good sources of iodine include seafood, dairy products, and iodized salt.

Second, avoid exposure to toxins like mercury and perchlorate. These can damage the thyroid gland and lead to hypothyroidism.

Third, eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. This will give your body the nutrients it needs to function properly, including the thyroid gland.

Fourth, get regular exercise. Exercise helps to promote a healthy metabolism, which is important for keeping the thyroid functioning properly.

Finally, if you have any family history of thyroid problems, be sure to let your doctor know so they can keep an eye on you.

  • How to Prevent hyperthyroidism

There are a few things you can do to help prevent hyperthyroidism:

  1. Avoid exposure to iodine. This can be found in some foods (like seaweed), certain medications and supplements, and contrast dyes used for medical procedures.
  2. Be sure to get enough selenium in your diet. Selenium is a mineral that helps protect the thyroid gland from damage. It can be found in foods like Brazil nuts, tuna, and whole wheat bread.
  3. Limit your intake of soy products. Soy contains compounds that can interfere with thyroid hormone production.
  4. Get regular exercise and manage stress levels. Both of these can help keep the thyroid gland functioning properly.
  5. See your doctor regularly for checkups, especially if you have a family history of thyroid problems or other risk factors for hyperthyroidism.

Foods for the Thyroid Patients

There are many foods that can help thyroid patients to maintain a healthy weight, improve energy levels and mood, and promote overall well-being. Here are some of the best foods for thyroid patients:

  • Seafood: Seafood is rich in iodine, which is essential for proper thyroid function. seafood can also help to regulate blood sugar levels, making it a great choice for those with hypothyroidism or Graves' disease.
  • Cruciferous vegetables: Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and kale are goitrogens, substances that can interfere with thyroid hormone production. However, these vegetables are also packed with nutrients like fiber and antioxidants that are beneficial for overall health. It's important to cook these vegetables thoroughly to reduce their goitrogen content.
  • Eggs: Eggs are a good source of protein and contain all the amino acids your body needs to support proper thyroid function. They're also a rich source of choline, which helps to keep your metabolism running smoothly.
  • Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are another excellent source of protein and healthy fats. They also contain minerals like selenium and zinc, which are essential for thyroid health.
  • Berries: Berries are loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients that can help protect your thyroid from damage and improve hormone production.

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