What is Thyroid and its Symptoms Thyroidectomy prevention What is Thyroid and its associated risk factors?

 

Thyroidectomy is basically a surgical procedure used to remove part of the thyroid gland or the entire thyroid gland based on the patient's condition. The thyroid gland looks like a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck. Its main function is to produce thyroid hormones that help regulate metabolic activity in the body.

What is Thyroid and its Symptoms Thyroidectomy prevention What is Thyroid and its associated risk factors?

People suffering from thyroid disorders or diseases usually need thyroidectomy. Furthermore, people suffering from cancerous or non-cancerous tissue present in the thyroid gland may also require such surgery in cases of goiter, hyperthyroidism.

This does not mean that if someone has a thyroid problem they must have a thyroidectomy because there are medications and other treatments that help with various thyroid related diseases and disorders. Thyroidectomy helps to treat the disease and after removal of the thyroid gland it is replaced. Thyroid hormones are administered externally by doctors so that the body functions properly.

What is Thyroid and its Symptoms Thyroidectomy prevention What is Thyroid and its associated risk factors?

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the middle of the throat, below the voice box and surrounding the windpipe (trachea). It is an endocrine gland. The thyroid gland affects almost all metabolic processes in the body by producing hormones. 

Metabolic processes that are affected by thyroid hormones are:

  • Basal metabolic rate 
  • heart rate 
  • body weight 
  • Cholesterol levels 
  • muscle strength 
  • body temperature 
  • and others 

What is thyroid disease?

Thyroid disease is a general term for a medical condition that prevents the thyroid gland from producing the right amount of hormones. Your thyroid normally produces hormones that help your body function normally. 

If the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, the body's metabolism is affected. In this condition, the body uses up energy very quickly. This is called hyperthyroidism. 

Using too much energy too quickly causes the body to feel tired in hyperthyroidism. Symptoms include increased heart rate, rapid weight loss, and nervousness.

In contrast, when the thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone, i.e., hypothyroidism, the body feels lethargic. And other signs and symptoms such as weight gain, intolerance to cold temperatures, depression, and dry skin are observed. 

These two major disorders can be caused by different conditions. They are also inherited through the family.

Apart from these two, thyroid gland related problems like thyroiditis, Hashimoto's disease, Graves' disease, hyperfunctioning thyroid nodule etc. are seen.

Types of thyroid disease 

Many thyroid disorders require the care of a physician or other health care professional.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism can lead to Graves' disease, which has many symptoms. Such as excessive sweating, arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), weight loss, dilated eyes and nervousness.

Hypothyroidism

Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include fatigue, weight gain, depression, abnormal bone development, and stunted growth. The most common cause is autoimmune. Production of antibodies that attack the thyroid gland.

Hashimoto's thyroiditis

Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder, is inflammation of the thyroid gland. It can cause goiter (swelling in the neck due to an enlarged thyroid gland) and other symptoms.

Thyroid tumor

Thyroid nodules and adenomas, small, noncancerous growths, begin in the layer of cells that line the inner surface of the thyroid gland. The adenoma itself can secrete thyroid hormone and cause hyperthyroidism. Thyroid adenoma treatment may include surgery to remove overactive nodules.

Thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer is more common in people who have had radiation to the head, neck, or chest. However, it can also occur in those with no known risk factors. There are four main types of thyroid cancer: papillary thyroid cancer, follicular thyroid cancer, anaplastic thyroid cancer, and medullary cancer. Most thyroid cancers can be successfully treated.

Thyroid disorders in women

Thyroid disease in women can affect their hormonal balance and  cause problems during puberty, menstruation, fertility, pregnancy  and postpartum.

Causes of thyroid disease

The two main types of thyroid disease are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Both conditions can be caused by other diseases that affect the functioning of the thyroid gland.

Conditions that can cause hypothyroidism include:

Thyroiditis:  This condition is inflammation (swelling) of the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis can reduce the amount of hormones your thyroid produces.

Hashimoto's thyroiditis:  It is a painless disease. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition in which the body's cells attack and damage the thyroid. It is an inherited condition.

Postpartum thyroiditis:  This condition occurs in 5% to 9% of women postpartum. This is usually a temporary condition.

Iodine deficiency:  The thyroid gland uses iodine to produce hormones. Iodine deficiency is a problem that affects millions of people worldwide.

A non-functioning thyroid gland:  Sometimes, the thyroid gland is not functioning properly from birth. It affects about 1 in 4,000 newborns. If left untreated, the child may develop both physical and mental problems in the future. All newborns are given a screening blood test at the hospital to check their thyroid function.

Conditions that can cause hyperthyroidism include:

Graves' disease:  In this condition, the entire thyroid gland may become overactive and produce too much hormone. This problem is also called diffuse toxic goiter (enlarged thyroid gland).

Nodules:  Hyperthyroidism can be caused by overactive nodules within the thyroid. A single nodule is called an autonomously functioning thyroid nodule. A gland with multiple nodules is called toxic multi-nodular goiter.

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Thyroiditis:  This disorder can be either painful or not felt at all. In thyroiditis, the thyroid releases stored hormones. This problem may persist for weeks or months.

Too much iodine:  When your body has too much iodine (a mineral used to make thyroid hormones), the thyroid gland makes more thyroid hormones than it needs. Too much iodine is found in some medicines and cough syrups.

Symptoms of thyroid disease

A person with thyroid disease may experience various symptoms. Unfortunately, the symptoms of thyroid disease conditions are often very similar to those of other medical conditions and life stages. That makes it difficult to know if the symptoms are related to a thyroid problem or something else.

In most cases, the symptoms of thyroid disease can be divided into two groups – those associated with having too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) and having too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism).

Symptoms of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) include:

Symptoms of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) are:

  • Feeling tired (fatigue).
  • weight gain
  • Feeling forgetful.
  • Frequent and profuse menstruation in women.
  • Having dry and coarse hair.
  • hoarse voice
  • Feeling intolerance to cold temperatures.

Who is most likely to have thyroid disease?

Thyroid disease can affect anyone – men, women, children, teenagers and the elderly. It can be present at birth (usually hypothyroidism) and it can develop as you age (often after menopause in women).

Thyroid disease is very common. An estimated 20 million people in the United States have thyroid disease. 

Research has shown that women are more likely to suffer from thyroid disease than men. And they are about five to eight times more likely to be infected.

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The following factors may increase the risk of developing thyroid disease:

  • There is a family history of thyroid disease i.e. the disease is likely to be inherited.
  • Have any of these medical conditions. Such as: anemia, type-1-diabetes, primary adrenal insufficiency, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren's syndrome and Turner's syndrome.
  • Take medicines that contain more iodine. For example: amiodarone
  • You are over 60 years of age. Or you are a woman in her sixties.
  • Have been treated for a past thyroid condition or cancer (thyroidectomy or radiation).

Preventive measures for thyroid disease:

Treatment of thyroid disease is often successful. Treatment of thyroid disease includes anti-thyroid drugs, use of radioactive iodine procedures, and surgery or surgery.

What are the symptoms of thyroid disease should consult a doctor?

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A doctor should be consulted if the following thyroid symptoms are observed:

  • Feeling like a swollen lump on both sides of the voice box of the throat.
  • Depression, feeling nervous, depressed, or mood swings.
  • If you feel hot or cold for a long time.
  • If you feel too tired.
  • Sudden weight loss or gain.

Some simple tips to prevent thyroid disorders

  • Avoid processed foods: Many chemicals in processed foods can affect thyroid hormone production. Any type of processed food should be avoided. All these foods are high in salt, sugar and oil. Which can lead to rapid weight gain.
  • Cruciferous vegetables:  Cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and spinach should be avoided if you have a thyroid because these vegetables contain goitrogens that inhibit iodine absorption by the thyroid gland and exacerbate hyperthyroidism.
  • Avoid soy products: Limit soy intake as it affects thyroid hormone production. So it is better to eat foods like soybeans, soy milk, tofu in moderation. 
  • Stop smoking: Toxins released during smoking can make the thyroid gland more sensitive which can lead to thyroid disease.
  • Reduce stress : Stress is a major contributor to many health disorders, including thyroid disease. So get active, meditate, try yoga and get enough sleep.
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