Thyroid diseases: Types and symptoms

Published 12.11.2018 00:00
Thyroid diseases: Types and symptoms

Thyroid diseases, which influence almost all of the metabolic processes in the body, can range from goiter to abnormal production of hormones. Let's learn its types and symptoms so we can get the proper treatment

The butterfly-shaped thyroid gland is an endocrine gland located under the neck's front part. Its basic duty is secreting hormones. Knowing that what happens in our body is controlled by instructions, and these instructions depend on hormones, we can understand how this small organ is important for the body. The thyroid gland secretes hormones which regulate all functions of your metabolism which reach extend to your bones, muscles, skin, immune system, heart, brain and many other organs.

It needs fuel to secrete hormones, and this fuel is iodine which is taken with nutrients. Iodine, which is found in nutrients such as turkey breast, iodized table salt, sea products, milk and bread, mixes with the blood. Then, your thyroid takes this necessary substance from your blood and uses it to secrete two types of hormones called T4 and T3. Apart from these two hormones, another hormone called calcitonin, which is in charge of transferring the calcium in the blood to the bones, is also secreted.

What other thyroid diseases are there apart from goiter?

Goiter, which appears as a result of enlarging of the thyroid gland, can show itself in different thyroid diseases with nodule formation over time. When the thyroid gland secretes too many hormones, hyperthyroidism occurs. The reverse situation, hypothyroid occurs when the thyroid gland works less. If cyst-like growths occur in the thyroid gland, this disorder is called nodular goiter.

Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, occurs when T4 and T3 hormones are not secreted enough. This causes the metabolism of our body to slow. Besides a slowdown in actions, insomnia and psychological breakdown can be observed.

Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland works and secretes too much T3 and T4 hormones. It is known as an overactive thyroid. It shows itself with symptoms such as palpitations, intolerance to hot weather, over-sweating, weight loss, sleep and menstrual irregularity, and shaking in the hands. In addition to this, other general symptoms of hyperthyroidism are ophthalmopathy, which affects orbital and periorbital tissue, osteoporosis, excessive thirst, weakness in muscles, thinning and loss of hair, red bumps on the skin, thinning of the skin, increase in intestinal processes and diarrhea, irritability, intolerance and a lack of sexual appetite. As mentioned, goiter is the enlarging of the thyroid gland. Its most frequent symptom is swelling. This swelling on the skin is pretty apparent. However, in some patients, there are no observable symptoms. Among the other symptoms of goiter are nausea, vomiting, shaking, sweating, snoring, shortness of breath, swelling of the eyes, an impaired digestive system and palpitation. Nodules are the abnormal tissues that occur with goiter. Symptoms seen in the nodule problem can differ from person to person. The symptoms can be ranked: Irritability, short temper, intolerance to hot weather, weakness in muscles, hyperactivity, sleep problems and infertility.

Sneaky symptoms of thyroid problems: Skin changes

The skin of those suffering from hyperthyroidism is moist and soft. They generally have smooth velvet-like but much thinner skin. Along with the excessive growth of nails, blushing on hands and the face can be observed. Itching symptoms throughout the body occur and an increase in the pigmentation of skin is seen. Thinning of hair can appear, as well.

On the other hand, metabolism gets slow in hypothyroidism because the thyroid hormone decreases. Fatigue, weakness, depression and skin problems can occur. Patients have a pale, dry, cold and rough skin which is orange-yellow. On the skin, which is dry and itchy, cracks start to happen. This turns into wounds which take time to heal.

Hyperthyroidism accelerates everything. Our digestive system is only one of them. Most of the thyroid patients go to the toilet many times a day because of their overactive thyroid. On the contrary, the biggest problem of hypothyroid patients is constipation that occurs as a result of slow intestinal mobility.

Is the thyroid the reason for being overweight?

In hyperthyroid patients, the appetite increases as the metabolism get faster. Despite that, they lose weight. In hypothyroid patients, the situation is reversed. As the metabolism gets slower, weight gain is observed. The patients have difficulties losing this weight.

Menstrual irregularity can be sign of hormone problems

Progesterone and estrogen hormones make the menstrual period become regular. A regular menstrual period is linked with the perfect working of hormones because your body is affected by all hormones during the ovulation period. The thyroid hormone, which regulates the metabolism, can cause problems during the menstrual period. So much so that, the bleeding in the menstrual period seriously decreases in women who have hyperthyroid problems.

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