A person’s Thyroid gland has a major job to do, but when something starts to go wrong, it can create a great many health issues. The signs of thyroid diseases can sometimes go undetected because the signs can be very ordinary health issues.
What is the Thyroid?
The thyroid is a small gland in the lower part of your neck. The function of a gland is to secrete hormones. The main hormones released by the thyroid are triiodothyronine (T3), and thyroxine (T4). These thyroid hormones deliver energy to cells of the body. It also influences almost all of the metabolic processes in the body.
The Thyroid Diseases are:
Hypothyroidism-An under-active thyroid
It is when the thyroid gland is unable to produce thyroid hormones. One of the major causes of this can be Hashimoto Disease in which a person’s antibodies destroy the ability to make thyroid hormones.
Some signs and symptoms can be a slowdown in metabolism, and can include fatigue, weight gain, and depression, among others. Signs you might not think of as being thyroid issues.
Here is a link to a quiz to check for additional symptoms for this disease:
Hyperthyroidism-An overactive thyroid
This is when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone and is overactive. The most common cause is the autoimmune condition called Graves’ disease. The antibodies cause the thyroid to speed up hormone production.
Some of the signs or symptoms can be neck tenderness, weight changes, pregnancy issues, racing heartbeat, blood pressure, feeling warm all the time, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, sore muscles. If you notice, most of these symptoms are flu like so are easy to ignore as having the flu.
Here is the link to a quiz to check for additional symptoms for this disease:
Goiter -An enlarged thyroid
A Goiter is the enlargement of the thyroid gland, which is a common symptom of Graves’ disease. However, can be also be hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism or a normal thyroid function.
The neck will seem larger, fullness, painful, with hoarseness and choking feeling.
Thyroid Nodules -Lumps in the thyroid gland
Are single or multiple abnormal masses within the thyroid gland. They can vary in size; can be either solid or liquid filled. Some cysts, lumps, bumps, tumors are benign and some can be cancerous.
If you feel something in the thyroid area go to this link on how to do a “Thyroid Neck Check” http://thyroid.about.com/od/thyroidcancer/a/neckcheck.htm.
Thyroid Cancer -Malignant thyroid nodules or tissue
This type of cancer is rare but on the rise at this time. However, diagnosed early there is good prognosis and a high survival rate.
Some of the symptoms can be a lump that grows quickly, difficulty swallowing & breathing, a choking feeling, changes in the voice, hoarseness, a chronic cough, discomfort or pain.
Thyroiditis -Inflammation of the thyroid
The inflammation is due to bacterial or viral illness and there are several types of thyroiditis. Listed are several different types and links for additional information on them.
Subacute Granulamatous Thyroiditis / de Quervain’s Thyroiditis
Acute Infectious Thyroiditis
Painless Thyroiditis/Silent Thyroiditis
Riedel’s Thyroiditis/Invasive Thyroiditis
Diagnosing a Thyroid Condition by use of the following medical procedures: Starts with a series of blood tests. Once diagnosed with a thyroid problem an Endocrinologist will decide which treatment is best for you.
Ultrasounds-for nodules & enlarged thyroids
Thyroid Scans using radioactive iodine
Fine needle aspirations & biopsies
Treatments for varying conditions can be:
Radioactive iodine Ablation
Surgery may be called for to remove goiters or nodules. In addition, to remove the complete thyroid if there is cancer.
Thyroid conditions are treatable and but can be life threatening when cancer has spread though out the body. The symptoms of thyroid problems can mimic other everyday illnesses that just will not go away. Being pro-active in the care of your own health and knowing your body is important. So that you will know, something other than an everyday illness is going on.
Information and Quiz links from Thyroid 101: http://thyroid.about.com/