What is the Thyroid?
The thyroid is a gland located in the front of the neck. The organ has a butterfly-like shape. This gland produces hormones essential for the functioning of the human body.
The hormones the thyroid produces are responsible for the metabolic rate, heart functions, digestive system, muscle strength and control, brain growth and function, and bone strength and maintenance.
When the thyroid produces too many hormones, the condition is called Hyperthyroidism. And when it produces not enough hormones, the condition is called Hypothyroidism.
When you have hyperthyroidism, you have an overactive thyroid gland. It produces higher levels of thyroxine than your body needs. It is a condition where your metabolism increases, causing unplanned, unhealthy weight loss.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
It looks like other health conditions, making it difficult for the practitioner to identify the actual cause of your health problems.
However, it can be identified with these common symptoms –
- Sudden weight loss (for example, in a month)
- Fast heartbeat
- Thinning of hair and skin
- Weaker muscles and pain
- Increased appetite
- Change in menstrual patterns
- Anxiety, excessive sweating, shivers, and irritability
- Increased heat sensitivity, and
- Swollen thyroid gland
What Does Hyperthyroidism Do?
If hyperthyroidism is not treated on time, it can cause different health conditions, including –
- Graves’ Disease
- Plummer’s Disease
- Brittle bones or Osteoporosis
- Eye problems, leading to loss of vision
- Thyrotoxic conditions
Causes of Hyperthyroidism
People who have a family history of thyroid conditions have a possibility of developing hyperthyroidism. People with Pernicious Anemia, Type-1 or Type-2 Diabetes, Primary Adrenal Insufficiency, and Hormonal Disorders are also at risk.
If you overeat, don’t exercise, smoke, or are pregnant, then you might have an overactive thyroid gland.
When you have been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, you have an underactive thyroid gland. Meaning, your thyroid gland produces low levels of hormones.
It is a fairly common health condition that affects around 4.6% of Americans above 12 years of age. However, it is more common in women and seniors
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Early symptoms of hypothyroidism are weight gain, puffy face, constipation, and fatigue. But it can also show the following symptoms –
- Sensitivity on skin and face
- Dry skin and hair
- Feeling cold all the time
- Decreased sweating
- Slow heart rate
- Anxiety and depression
- Weak, hard, paining muscles
- Stiff and paining joints
- Changes in menstrual patterns
The symptoms of hypothyroidism may vary from person to person. If you notice two or more symptoms, it is advisable you should see your doctor immediately.
What Does Hypothyroidism Do?
Since the symptoms of hypothyroidism are also the symptoms of other physical and emotional health conditions, it goes unnoticed and untreated oftentimes. Here are a few conditions that a long-term, uncured hypothyroidism can become a reason of –
- Nerve Damage or Injuries
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Untreated hypothyroidism can also have an effect on the functions of your kidney. When hypothyroidism becomes a severe condition, it can also cause Myxedema Coma.
Hypothyroidism is also a reason of infertility, miscarriage, and other pregnancy-related complications in women.
Causes of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism can occur in people who have a family history of thyroid complications. If you have been on medicines to treat hyperthyroidism or have undergone a thyroid surgery, then also you can suffer from hypothyroidism.
People with Autoimmune Disease can have an underactive thyroid gland. Some (Lithium-based) medications can also cause your gland to produce less hormones.
Congenital Diseases, Pituitary Disorders, Iodine Deficiency, and Pregnancy can also give you hypothyroidism.
Thyroid complications are common, but they can develop into severe diseased conditions if not cured on time. Treatment of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are available and effective.
If you notice more than one or two symptoms of either of these two medical conditions, see your doctor to prevent and cure them before they become difficult to treat.
EPIC Health can diagnose and treat your thyroid complications, and help you lead a healthy life – through our regular screenings, guided nutrition, and personalized dietary and treatment programs.
Book your appointment at EPIC Health now!