All You Need To Know About Thyroid

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Located near the base of your neck, just below the centre of your throat, is a tiny gland like a butterfly that is your thyroid. It is a component of the complex gland network known as the endocrine system.

Many of the functions of your body are coordinated by your endocrine system. Your body’s metabolism is regulated by hormones produced by your thyroid gland.


What causes thyroid issues?

When your thyroid produces too much hormone (hyperthyroidism) or not enough (hypothyroidism), several issues can occur.

Irritability, exhaustion, weight gain, loss, and other annoying symptoms can result from either an overactive or underactive thyroid.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves disease, goitre (enlarged thyroid), and thyroid nodules are four prevalent thyroid-related conditions. 

Learn about common thyroid conditions, including symptoms and treatments, by continuing to read.

Hyperthyroidism (Overactive thyroid)

Your thyroid gland is hyperactive if you have hyperthyroidism. It overproduces thyroid hormone. Many of your body’s processes may quicken as a result.

Over 70% of individuals with hyperthyroidism have Graves’ disease, which is the most prevalent cause of hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland may also overproduce hormones if you have nodules on it, a disease known as toxic nodular goitre or multinodular goitre.

In addition, hyperthyroidism may result from:

  • thyroid gland irritation
  • excess iodine consumption
  • overusing thyroid hormone medicines
  • non-cancerous tumour of the pituitary gland

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism

Symptoms of excessive thyroid hormone production might include:

  • agitation
  • uneasiness
  • heart rate rapid
  • Easily agitated
  • increased perspiration
  • Shifting
  • Unease
  • difficulty falling asleep
  • pale skin
  • fragile nails and hair
  • muscle wasting
  • loss of weight
  • an increase in hunger
  • regular bowel motions
  • eyes that swell (with Graves’ illness)

Treatment and diagnosis of hyperthyroidism

Tests measuring thyroid hormone levels or thyroid function can be used by a physician or other healthcare provider to detect hyperthyroidism.

Thyroid hormone (thyroxine, or T4) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in the blood are determined by a blood test. TSH is released by your pituitary gland to encourage your thyroid to manufacture hormones. Your thyroid gland may be hyperactive if you have high thyroxine and low TSH readings.

Additionally, your doctor may provide radioactive iodine intravenously or orally, measuring the amount that your thyroid gland absorbs. Iodine is needed by your thyroid to make hormones. Consuming excessive amounts of radioactive iodine might indicate an overactive thyroid. For the majority of people, this little quantity of radioactivity is not hazardous and resolves rapidly.

The thyroid gland is destroyed or prevented from generating hormones as a result of hyperthyroidism treatments. Therapies may consist of:

Antithyroid drugs: Methimazole (Tapazole), an antithyroid medication, can stop your thyroid from making hormones and lessen symptoms.

Radioiodinated medicine: A high radioactive iodine dosage harms the thyroid gland. It is available for oral use as a tablet or liquid. Your thyroid gland is harmed by the radioactive iodine it absorbs together with regular iodine. Nevertheless, those who are nursing or pregnant should not use this option.

The beta-blockers: Beta-blockers may be able to reduce discomfort.

Operation: It is possible to remove your thyroid gland surgically. Your thyroid levels may return to normal as a result of this.

You will develop hypothyroidism and require daily thyroid hormone medication if you have surgery or radioactive iodine therapy that kills your thyroid gland.


The reverse of hyperthyroidism is hypothyroidism. Your thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones because it is underactive. This may result in a slowdown of some bodily processes.

Damage from radiation therapy, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and thyroid gland excision surgeries are the main causes of hypothyroidism.

It may also result from:

  • thyroid inflammation
  • congenital hypothyroidism, which is a disorder that may occur at birth
  • iodine shortage
  • diseases of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus
  • prescription drugs, such as those for bipolar illness, cancer, and the heart

If you have other medical diseases including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 or type 2 diabetes, celiac disease, or rheumatoid arthritis, your chances of developing it may increase.

Hypothyroidism symptoms

Insufficient synthesis of thyroid hormone results in symptoms like:

  • fatigue
  • dry hair and skin
  • increased susceptibility to low temperatures
  • memory issues
  • bloating
  • depression in
  • gaining weight
  • joint and muscle aches or weakness
  • heart rate slowing
  • irregular and heavy menstruation
  • issues with reproduction
  • Coma

Treatment and diagnosis of hypothyroidism

Physicians frequently use imaging and blood testing to detect hypothyroidism.

Your thyroid hormone and TSH levels will be determined by a doctor through blood testing. A high TSH level and low thyroxine level might imply that your thyroid is underactive. These readings may also be a sign that your pituitary is trying to encourage your thyroid to produce more hormone by producing more TSH.

Imaging studies that measure thyroid function include radioactive iodine scans and ultrasounds.

Taking thyroid hormone medications is the primary therapy for hypothyroidism. The correct dose is crucial since overdosing on thyroid hormone might result in hyperthyroidism symptoms.

Pregnant women with hypothyroidism may require greater or more frequent dosages during pregnancy.

Keeping the Thyroid healthy

Most of the time, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism cannot be prevented. Iodine insufficiency is a common cause of hypothyroidism in nations with high rates of the mineral. However, this shortage is uncommon in the US as table salt has iodine added to it.

An incurable autoimmune illness, Graves’ disease is frequently the cause of hyperthyroidism. Overdosing on thyroid hormones can cause an overactive thyroid. Make sure you take the recommended amount of thyroid hormone if you are prescribed it. Rarely, eating an excessive amount of iodine-containing foods, such as seaweed, salmon, and table salt, might cause your thyroid to become hyperactive.

Thyroid illness may not be preventable, but by receiving a diagnosis as soon as possible and adhering to your treatment plan, you can avoid problems.

Thyroid health Tips

Although it is not feasible to avoid every thyroid condition, there are thyroid-friendly dietary measures you can take to maintain optimal thyroid function. Here are some pointers for improved thyroid function:

Tip 1: Try to eat less “ultra-processed” meals.

A diet heavy in ultra-processed foods has been associated by researchers with a higher risk of subclinical hyperthyroidism, a kind of hyperthyroidism that may not yet be severe enough to manifest symptoms.

Foods that are extremely processed include hot dogs, frozen dinners, and other packaged goods like cakes, cookies, and other snacks.

These meals usually have extracts added to them to increase the amount of sugar, salt, or fat to improve the flavour. Reducing your consumption of certain items, or eliminating them, may help lower your risk of thyroid problems.

Tip 2: Include adequate iron in your diet.

Iron is needed by your body to produce thyroid hormone. Your chance of developing hypothyroidism may increase if you are iron deficient. Medication for hypothyroidism may also not function as effectively if your iron levels are low.

Including adequate iron in your diet regularly might be a big step. Iron-containing food examples include:

foods enriched with iron, such as cereals, grains, Poultry, Red meat, and Seafood

See your doctor about taking an iron supplement if you are experiencing trouble include foods high in iron in your regular diet.

Tip 3: Take a selenium supplement

Your body needs the trace element selenium to produce thyroid hormone. Low selenium levels have been associated in studies with an increased risk of goitre, Graves’ disease, and chronic autoimmune thyroiditis.

By consuming more meat, fish, or whole grains, you can raise your selenium levels. However, some people might need to take a supplement to raise their selenium levels. Consult your physician about any possible remedies.

When to visit a physician

If you have any of the following symptoms, you should think about making an appointment with your doctor since they may be connected to your thyroid:

  • sensing a lump or nodule on each side of your voicebox, or larynx
  • gaining or losing weight that you cannot account for with dietary or exercise changes
  • having a persistently hot or chilly feeling
  • feeling unstable emotionally, such as depressed, anxious, or tense
  • having a strong sense of exhaustion

All of these symptoms may point to a thyroid issue and call for a visit to the doctor.

Myxedema coma and thyroid storm are two thyroid-related disorders that can become life-threatening. For either, you ought to get emergency medical assistance.

Which drugs are available for the treatment of hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a chronic illness. Medication helps a lot of people by reducing or eliminating symptoms.

Levothyroxine (Levoxyl, Synthroid) is the best medication for treating hypothyroidism. The function of the synthetic T4 hormone is identical to that of the thyroid hormone that your body naturally produces.

The purpose of the drug is to raise your blood’s thyroid hormone levels back to a healthy level. After hormone levels are balanced again, the illness’s symptoms should go away or at least get much easier to control.

It will take a few weeks after therapy starts for you to start feeling better. Additional blood tests will be necessary to track your improvement. Together, you and your physician will choose the dosage and course of medication that will best manage your symptoms. This can need some time.

People with hypothyroidism often need to take this medicine for the rest of their lives. But you might need to change how much you take, particularly if you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Your doctor will probably check your TSH levels once a year to make sure your medication is still functioning as intended.

If blood levels suggest the drug isn’t functioning as intended, your doctor will gradually increase the dosage until a balance is reached.

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