Thyroid Troubles - Know the Symptoms and Treatment Options


Thyroid Troubles - Know the Symptoms and Treatment Options

An estimated 200 million people around the world are suffering from some form of thyroid disorder or the other. What exactly is a thyroid and what is the best way to put up with the highs and lows associated with this medical condition? Let's take a comprehensive view of the thyroid disorder, its symptoms, and the treatment procedures.

Have you ever wondered how some people can eat all they want and yet, manage to stay slim and fit? Their fitness is often attributed to their good metabolism. Metabolism is the complex chemical process that takes place in our body's cells, which regulates proper functioning of the body.

Metabolism is controlled by the thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland is positioned at the base of our neck, below the Adam's apple. It produces the thyroid hormone that travels through the blood stream to all parts of the body. This hormone is key to controlling several aspects of metabolic activity such as how fast you can burn calories and how fast your heart beats.

Thyroid problem in Women

Statistically, women are more likely to have a thyroid disorder than men. Having a thyroid problem can cause irregularity in menstrual periods and may even affect the ovaries. Some women may encounter problems in conceiving a child. Others are likely to have complications during pregnancy and delivery that can affect the health of the mother and child.

Very often, thyroid symptoms are confused with those of menopause. You have to visit a doctor and get tested for thyroid problem if

  • you have had thyroid problem earlier
  • you had a surgery or any treatment
  • have a medical condition such as type 1 diabetes, goiter, anemia
  • there is are instances of thyroid disease in your family

 

The two common types of thyroid diseases are Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism.

Hypothyroidism: Your metabolism slows down when the thyroid does not make enough thyroid hormones. This causes Hypothyroidism. The usual symptoms start with feeling tired and lethargic, but the disease itself develops slowly, spanning several years.

Symptoms: Signs of slow-down in metabolism include

  • Weakness of muscles, pain of the joint or muscle, gain in weight
  • Depression, tiredness, feeling cold when others don't
  • Pale, dry skin, thinning hair
  • Constipation, heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Slow heart rate, puffy face

Treatment: Hypothyroidism is treated with man-made drugs that will produce the hormones that your thyroid gland normally would. Once you start taking the pills, you will have to continue them permanently. They have to be prescribed by a doctor, and are safe, if taken according to directions.

 

Hyperthyroidism: This is the condition caused due to overactive thyroid which produces more hormones than is necessary for the body. This speeds up metabolic activity and increases heart rate.

Symptoms

  • Increased heartbeat, irregular heartbeat
  • Excessive hunger
  • Loss of weight
  • Anxiety and nervousness, profuse sweating, irritable nature
  • Irregular, fewer, and lighter menstrual periods than usual
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea

The most prominent symptom of Hyperthyroidism is that it causes weakness and brittleness in bones. This increases the risk of osteoporosis.

Treatment:  Anti thyroid medicines that prevent the thyroid gland from secreting hormones and Beta-blockers that block any effects caused by the thyroid hormones on the body are usually prescribed by the doctor. In some cases, surgery to remove the thyroid gland may also be performed.

 

Thyroiditis and Postpartum thyroiditis are caused due to inflammation of the thyroid gland. Goiter is a condition of unusually enlarged thyroid gland, and is common in pre menopausal women.