What is a Thyroid?
Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrinal gland located in the front of the neck, just above the collarbone and below the Adam’s apple. It helps in making hormones, which regulate numerous metabolic body processes. Thyroid uses Iodine to produce the hormones,
- Thyroxine (T4) which is the primary hormone produced and
- Triiodothyronine (T3), the active hormone, is produced by T4 conversion.
The thyroid’s function is regulated by a feedback mechanism with the brain. When the thyroid hormone levels are low, Hypothalamus produces Thyrotropin Release Hormone (TRH) causing the pituitary gland to release thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), which stimulates thyroid to produce more T4.
Since, Pituitary gland and hypothalamus controls the thyroid, their disorders can affect thyroid function and cause thyroid problems.
In this condition, the thyroid does not produce adequate thyroid hormone. Prolonged hypothyroidism can lead to Myxedema coma. In newborns and infant, hypothyroidism can lead to cretinism or mental retardation. Some of the causes are:
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks the thyroid tissue, which dies and stops hormone production
- Thyroid gland removal, either surgically or chemically.
- Excessive Amounts of Iodide, from cold or sinus medicines, contrast dyes used for X-rays etc.
- Lithium drug
The common symptoms are:
|Mild Weight Gain
||Dry, thinning hair
|Pale, puffy face
Heavy & irregular menstruation
Overproduction of thyroid hormone causes this condition.
Graves’ Disease, an autoimmune disease is one of the main causes. In this case, T4 level increases and TSH level reduces. A high absorption of iodine is found to be a cause.
The common symptoms include:
||Fast heart rate
Increased Bowel Movement
Swelling of the neck resulting from the enlarging of the thyroid gland, due to its improper functioning. It is usually caused by deficiency of iodine and is also associated with hyperthyroidism.
Some of the symptoms are:
|Coughing or Wheezing
- Thyroid Nodules
In this condition, growths appear on or inside the thyroid. The main causes include, deficiency of iodine and Hashimoto’s disease. These nodules are either solid or fluid sacs.
Some of the symptoms are:
||Intolerant to cold
- Thyroid Cancer
This occurs rarely in about 5% of the thyroid nodules which can be diagnosed and treated with surgeries. People who underwent radiation treatment for acne have a higher risk of developing it. The types of cancer that affects thyroid are:
- Papillary Cancer: common type and it spreads to the lymph nodes, enlarging it. If untreated, it can spread throughout the body. No possible cause has been found.
- Medullary Cancer: originates from the thyroid’s C Cells or Parafollicular cells that produce calcitonin.
- Follicular Cancer: more aggressive than papillary cancer. Vascular invasion and distant metastasis (spreading) to lungs, bones, brain, liver, bladder and skin is common.
- Hurthle Cell Cancer: affects hurthle cell that looks different from the thyroid cells. It can affect the neck or spread to the lymph nodes, lungs or bone.
- Anaplastic Cancer: a large and hard neck mass and these tumors grow rapidly and it can spread to lungs and bones.
We will handle the diagnosis and the treatment of these diseases in a meticulous manner with proper tests and Thyroid Surgery.
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