What is Thyroid | Types | Symptoms | Causes | Risk and Complications | Natural remedies
What is thyroid and thyroid disorder?
One of the major population of the world suffers from thyroid disorder. As per a survey conducted, out of 100-10 people were detected with this disorder.
Thyroid disorders are developed either due to over or less production of thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland.
Thyroid is a part of endocrine system and hence thyroid gland is an endocrine gland which is a butterfly shaped gland located at the front part of the neck in between Adam’s apple (thyroid cartilage) and windpipe.
Thyroid gland secretes hormones which are responsible to regulate the metabolism, body temperature and heart rate. The thyroid gland uses iodine obtained from the food we intake to produce these hormones.
The hormones produced by the thyroid glands are:
- Triiodothyronine (T3)
- Thyroxine (T4)
Types of thyroid disorders:
Depending upon the amount secretion of the thyroid hormones the thyroid disorders are classified majorly into two types:
Hyperthyroidism is a disorder wherein the thyroid gland become overactive which causes too much secretion of either T3 or T4 or both T3 and T4. A gland named pituitary gland (controlled by hypothalamus which is located in human brain) regulates the production of these hormones from the thyroid gland.Excess production of these hormones causes increase in metabolism.
Hypothyroidism is the most commonly found thyroid disorder is also called as underactive thyroid wherein thyroid gland does not produces enough amount of T3 and T4. Hypothyroidism leads to fatigue, constipation and dry skin.
Goitre is an inflammation over the neck caused due to the enlargement of the thyroid gland. Improper functioning of thyroid leads to goitre. This swelling when small cannot be harmful but enlarges may cause breathing problem.
Signs of hyperthyroidism are:
– High metabolic rate which causes increased appetite
– Increased heart rate
– High blood pressure
– Increase in Body temperature which results in sweating
– Weight loses
– Irregular menstrual cycle in women
– A person me feel dizziness, nervous, restless and weak
– A person may encounter difficulty in sleeping
– It can cause hair loss
– One may feel like vomiting
– It may cause itching and red lumpy skin
– Sometimes it may cause breast development in men
Signs of hypothyroidism are
– Slowed heartbeat
– Memory issues
– Menstrual issues in women
– Difficulty in fertility
– Weight gain
– Low body temperature
– High cholesterol in blood
– Muscle aches and tenderness
– Puffy face
Causes of hyperthyroidism are:
– Grave’s Disease: This on of the most common cause of hyperthyroidism and is caused due to overactive thyroid gland. In the disease the thyroid gland normally loses its ability to produces the hormones in a controlled level as directed by the brain (i.e. the pituitary gland). It can also be hereditary are most common among women as per compared to men.
Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease, here the antibodies such as thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI), thyroid peroxidase (TPO) and TSH receptors are found in the blood.
The graves’ diseases affect the eyes and skin, it causes swelling of eyeball and continuous flow of tears from eyes and it may also cause red bumpy rashes over the skin usually at legs.
– Thyroiditis: Thyroiditis is swelling of the thyroid gland due to viral fever/illness or due to collection of white blood cells (Lymphocytes) in the thyroid gland. The enlargement of thyroid gland cause leakage of thyroid hormones into the blood resulting in hyperthyroidism disorder.
Thyroiditis caused by accumulation of lymphocytes are called Lymphocytic Thyroiditis which can occur to women after pregnancy, up to 8 % of women suffers from Lymphocytic Thyroiditis.
– Excessive iodine in body: Iodine is introduced to human body through the food we consume. When the consumption of iodine rich food increases the level of iodine in the body automatically increases. When excessive iodine is induced to a body having abnormal thyroid gland it results in overproduction of thyroid hormones, ultimately resulting hyperthyroidism.
– Excessive intake of thyroid hormone: Thyroid hormone can be induced to the human body through medication or drug taken for other purposes such as medication taken for weight loss.
Thus, the excessive doses of thyroid hormones caused hyperthyroidism.
– Hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules: As we grew older the thyroid glands become more lumpier and there are chances that any nodule stops responding to the pituitary gland and hence it starts producing more thyroid hormones.
– Tumor in pituitary gland: The pituitary gland regulated by hypothalamus secretes TSH i.e. Thyroid stimulating hormone which controls the thyroid gland. A tumor in Pituitary Gland cause high secretion of TSH and in response to the high secretion of TSH the thyroid gland produces more thyroid hormones
Causes of Hypothyroidism are :
– Hashimoto’s diseases: This disease is named after Dr. Hakaru Hashimoto, he described this diseases in 1912. Hashimoto’s diseases is also known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or Chronic Lymphocytic Thyroiditis or autoimmune Thyroiditis. This is one of the most common diseases causing hypothyroidism in Unites State. Around 10 million people in US suffers from this disease and an approx. of about 10% of women above the age of 30 are suffering from it.
Hashimoto’s disease is caused dues to enlargement of thyroid gland and this enlargement results in less secretion of thyroid hormone thus leading to hypothyroidism.
This disease is called autoimmune disease as the immune system attacks its own thyroid tissues causing inflammation of the thyroid gland. These can be hereditary as well.
– Iodine deficiency: Insufficient consumption of iodine may lead to less secretion of thyroid hormones. Iodine is induced to the body through the diet and if the lack iodine intake in the body is less it may lead to hypothyroidism.
– Lymphocytic Thyroiditis: This caused by the accumulation of white blood cells which causes inflammation in thyroid gland which further leads to hyperthyroidism. This can be most commonly seen in women after pregnancy. This type of disorder is called hyperthyroid phase which is followed by hypothyroid phase and in most women thyroid comes back to normal function but for few the thyroid remains underactive.
– Pituitary gland or hypothalamus disease: When the pituitary gland or hypothalamus fails to signal the thyroid gland to produce T3 and T4 then the thyroid hormone level decreases in the body even though the thyroid gland is normal which leads to hypothyroidism. This disease when caused due to the defect in pituitary gland is called Secondary hypothyroidism and when caused due to defect in hypothalamus is called tertiary hypothyroidism.
– Pituitary gland injury: The injury in pituitary gland may be cause through a brain surgery or less supply of blood to the brain because of this pituitary gland secrete low TSH and loses its control over thyroid gland resulting less production of T3 and T4.
– Medication for hyperthyroidism: The drugs which are used to treat hyperthyroidism may cause hypothyroidism.
– Radioactive iodine and surgery: the people suffering from hyperthyroidism such as grave’s disease are treated by providing radioactive iodine which results in little or no functioning of thyroid gland and hence when they get cured from hyperthyroidism the thyroid gland might start producing less thyroid hormones. Removal of thyroid gland during a surgery also cause hypothyroidism.
Risk and Complications:
when the hyperthyroidism disorder is not controlled it may lead to:
– if hyperthyroidism is not treated at its starting state it may lead to dizziness and even loss of consciousness.
– It may also cause atrial fibrillation which may lead to a stroke or heart failure.
– It may cause eye problems such as: watering eye, double vision and eyeball swelling.
– The person may lose weight despite of his/her increased appetite.
– Depression another major risk of hyperthyroidism.
– One of the major issue of this is irregular menstrual cycle, high chances of miscarriage in women.
– There are chance of premature delivery in case hyperthyroidism.
– Hyperthyroidism cause rapid increase in blood press and increases heart rate which may cause collapse in the system.
When hypothyroidism not treated may lead to:
– The low secretion of Thyroid hormone can affect ovulation resulting unable to conceive or miscarriage.
– Extreme hypothyroidism when not treated may lead to myxedema coma.
– If the mother suffers from hypothyroidism then there are chances that the babies are born with some disorders
– It may lead to depression.
– Hypothyroidism causes weight gain.
– Thyroid hormone affects the metabolism. Hypothyroidism decreases the insulin sensitivity and leading to insulin resistance and which may increase the risk of developing type II diabetes.