Patient's Complete Guide to Thyroid Disorders

Overview of Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid disease is a common medical condition in which the person suffers from an imbalance in the production of thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland is a very important body gland that keeps track of metabolism, sleep schedule, and weight maintenance with the production of various hormones.

Although the effects of these diseases can be severe, it is possible to manage them with the help of an early diagnosis.

Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Disorders

There are two main types of thyroid disorders. And these two types are majorly differentiated because of their symptoms. 

 

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism

Some common signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism are as follows:

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

Some common signs or symptoms of hypothyroidism are as follows:

  • Tiredness
  • Weight gain
  • Heavy menstruation
  • Dry or coarse hair
  • Having a hoarse voice
  • Forgetfulness
  • Intolerance to cold temperatures

Types of Thyroid Disorders

There are two main types of thyroid disease.

Hyperthyroidism

It is a condition in which the thyroid produces a high number of thyroid hormones which can then lead to various health complications.

Hypothyroidism

In this condition, in which there are lower than normal levels of thyroid hormones in the body.

Causes of Thyroid Disorders

In the Case of Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which your body is producing too many thyroid hormones. The causes of hyperthyroidism are as follows:

  • Graves’ disease
  • Toxic adenomas
  • Subacute thyroiditis
  • Pituitary gland malfunctions
  • Cancerous growth in the thyroid gland

In the Case of Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body suffers from low levels of thyroid hormone. Some major causes of hypothyroidism are given below:

  • Lithium intake
  • Exposure to too much iodide
  • Removal of the thyroid gland
  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis
  • Pituitary disorder
  • Defective thyroid

Risk Factors of Thyroid Disorders

Given below are the risk factors of thyroid disorders.

Hyperthyroidism Risk Factors

The risk factors of hyperthyroidism are as follows:

  • Being female
  • A recent pregnancy
  • Any autoimmune disease such as type 1 diabetes
  • A family history of thyroid disease or autoimmune disease
  • Medical history of thyroid disorders such as goiter
  • Over-consumption of iodine in food or medication

Hypothyroidism Risk Factors

The risk factors of hypothyroidism are given below:

  • Being female
  • Being over 60 years of age
  • Radiation exposure in the neck region
  • A family history of thyroid issues
  • A family history of the autoimmune system
  • Having a Caucasian or Asian ethnicity
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause
  • History of lithium use

Chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome or Turner’s Syndrome

Prevention

Given below are some preventions of thyroid diseases.

  • Quit smoking
  • Eat less soy
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Keep up with selenium supplement
  • Pay attention to your annual check-ups

Diagnosis

Often it is difficult to diagnose a thyroid disease because the symptoms might overlap with other issues or complications. Women might experience the same symptoms that they feel during pregnancy. But there are some tests that can help with the right diagnosis of thyroid diseases.

  • Blood tests
  • Visual tests
  • Physical exams

Blood Tests

Healthcare providers recommend blood tests for the proper diagnosis of thyroid disease. These tests are not only used for the diagnosis of hyper and hypothyroidism but also some associated disorders such as:

  • Goiter
  • Thyroid nodule
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Thyroiditis
  • Graves disease
  • Hashimoto’s disease

Given below are some blood tests that are recommended.

Basic Thyroid Test

A basic thyroid test is performed on a collected blood sample. Your doctor might recommend you a thyroid test if he or she is speculating any underlying thyroid problem or issue. 

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone

Thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH is one of the primary tests for the early detection of thyroid disorders.

T4: Thyroxine

It is a test that is used for the diagnosis of both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Low levels of T4 are seen with hypothyroidism and high T4 levels may indicate hyperthyroidism.

FT4: Free T4 or Free Thyroxine

This blood test is a measure for the analysis of T4 and its level in the blood.

T3: Triiodothyronine

The T3 test is used for the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism.

FT3: Free T3 or Free Triiodothyronine

This test is used for the measurement of T3.

Visual Examinations Tests

Healthcare providers can also assess the situation by having a look at the thyroid. But in some other cases, your doctor might also recommend imaging tests such as ultrasound. With the help of sound waves, a visual image of the thyroid is obtained.

Physical Exam

A physical exam is a painless method to check out the condition of the thyroid. Your doctor will conduct it in your office by simply having a look at your neck.

Treatment of Thyroid Disorders | When to Consult a Doctor

The main goal of the treatment of thyroid disease is to return the levels of thyroid hormones to normal. There are various other ways this can be achieved.

In Case of Hyperthyroidism

The patients might be recommended for the following treatments if they are suffering from high levels of thyroid hormone production.

Antithyroid Drugs

The healthcare provider might recommend some medication that can level up the thyroid hormones in the body. Some common medications are as follows:

  • Methimazole
  • Propylthiouracil

Radioactive Iodine

Radioactive iodine damages cell production in the thyroid. This leads to the maintenance of the thyroid gland so that it does not produce high levels of thyroid hormone.

Beta-Blockers

These medications help in controlling the symptoms in the body.

Surgery

If none of the above-mentioned methods is working, your doctor might recommend surgery so that the thyroid gland can be removed.

In the Case of Hypothyroidism

If the person is suffering from hypothyroidism, then these are the treatment options:

Thyroid Replacement Medication

This medicinal therapy allows for the addition of hormones back to the body. The commonly used drug for this purpose is levothyroxine.

Healthcare Providers

Consult with Best Doctors for Thyroid Disorders

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Dr. Nida Sajid

Speciality for Thyroid Disorders

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