Thyroid Symptoms: Types Of Disorders And Their Indications
In this article, we’ll discuss various types of thyroid disorders and their symptoms.
What Is Thyroid?
The thyroid is a gland in the endocrine system of your body and is responsible for the regulation of various essential bodily functions. It is responsible for managing your metabolism and hence your growth as well as regulating sexual development in teens. The ability of your body to break down food and convert it into energy is controlled by the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland secretes certain hormones to perform its functions for which the presence of iodine in the body is essential.
Malfunctioning Of The Thyroid
Sometimes, people suffer from conditions where the thyroid does not secrete the required quantity of thyroid hormones; either too much or too little. This could be caused by a variety of reasons that vary from diseases, injuries, or unbalanced dietary needs.
Thyroid diseases might affect anyone, regardless of gender and age. They may be genetically passed down to you or even develop with age. Taking medicines whose compositions have elevated levels of iodine can cause your thyroid gland to malfunction.
There are a bunch of various kinds of thyroid diseases that can affect you. Some may be evident whereas some only are evident after a significant period of time.
Common Thyroid Disorders
The most common thyroid disorders include:
- Hyperthyroidism: In this condition, the thyroid releases too much thyroid hormones into your bloodstream. If you suffer from hyperthyroidism, you must be eating excessively and also be very hyperactive. This happens because the excess of thyroid hormones makes your body use too much energy.
- Hypothyroidism: This condition occurs when your thyroid gland secretes lesser thyroid hormones than your body requires. It results in extremely reduced levels of energy and low appetite. Hypothyroidism becomes dangerous if it affects an infant because it inhibits their growth, both physically as well as mentally.
- Goiter: A bulge in the neck due to inflammation of the thyroid gland is known as goiter and can be the result of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Goitre also occurs when your minimum dietary needs of iodine are not met, i.e., it can be caused due to iodine deficiency.
- Thyroid Cancer: Thyroid cancers commonly occur in adults and not children. However, this type of cancer has a long-term survival rate of patients. Treatments typically produce excellent results. Although like most other types of cancers, the sooner it is diagnosed, the higher the chances of survival.
Symptoms Of Thyroid Disorders
The types of thyroid disorders you can suffer from are varied and hence they have different symptoms as well.
1. Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
Your body uses too much energy too quickly if your thyroid gland is overactive. This can result in unexpected weight loss, even when you have not been trying to lose weight at all.
- Hyperthyroidism might result in constant fatigue. Your muscles might feel weak without actual exertion.
- Increased irritability and anxiety as well as frequent mood swings are also fairly common.
- In women, hyperthyroidism can cause irregular periods.
- You might also feel increased sensitivity to heat.
- It can change the texture of your hair to being brittle and thin.
- It may also result in you having a rushed heartbeat. The pounding of your heart may become uneven and fast.
2. Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
- Feeling exhausted is one of the most common symptoms of Hypothyroidism. Because hypothyroidism results in lower energy levels, you might experience a reduced desire to perform physical activity. It can also affect you mentally by making you feel unmotivated and leaving your mind fatigued.
- It usually results in sudden, unexplained weight gain. Low energy levels reduce your activity, and your body starts to store calories as fat in the absence of enough thyroid hormones.
- You might become hypersensitive to cold. If you notice you are becoming more and more sensitive to cold with time, hypothyroidism might be the reason.
- Even your hair follicles are regulated and maintained by thyroid hormones to some extent. Thus hypothyroidism could lead to hair loss.
- The reasons for this are unclear. But depression has often been found to be a mental symptom of hypothyroidism.
- It may also lead to mental fogginess which will lower your concentration levels and ability to memorize and retain things.
- Hypothyroidism can also affect your colon and cause constipation which gets worse if the thyroid condition is left untreated.
- Like Hyperthyroidism, even hypothyroidism causes irregular periods in women.
- Both your skin and your hair might become dry and rough.
3. Symptoms of Goiter
- Your thyroid gland becomes enlarged and an apparent swelling at the base your neck will be visible. It is the primary symptom of suffering from goiter.
- Increased difficulty in breathing or swallowing food and water can also occur as a result of goiter.
- Your voice may become hoarse and scratchy.
- Coughing is less common, but it might happen as a result of goiter. Consuming cold beverages and more than moderate alcohol at this time could lead to a cough in the blood.
4. Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer
- Like goiter, there might be a swelling in your neck that is noticeable from the outside and even grows in size sometimes.
- You may suffer from pain in your neck that goes up towards the ears.
- Your voice might change and not go back to normal.
- There can be difficulty in swallowing and breathing.
- If you don’t have an infection but have a constant cough, you might have thyroid cancer.
In addition to these four ailments, you might have other diseases like having solitary thyroid nodules or thyroiditis. Thyroiditis can cause fever as well as pain. The existence of any thyroid disorder has negative effects on your body, and it is best if they are diagnosed as early as possible.
When To Visit The Doctor?
Most symptoms of thyroid disorders are common to other diseases as well. However, if you suffer from any of the above symptoms, you must go consult a doctor and get diagnosed before the disease becomes more intense. Treatments are usually successful and there is no point in letting it manifest itself in your body if you can feel something is wrong.
If you have a family history of such diseases or are diabetic, you should go get yourself diagnosed. Treating thyroid disorders early on means lesser pain and discomfort for you.
Best case scenario, your symptoms might be caused by infections or other easily treatable conditions. But even if you do have thyroid disease, diagnosing it and following a treatment plan is important and, in most cases reaps excellent results.
August 10, 2020 Sam Bell