What is Thyroid?
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped organ is in front of your neck. It’s part of a tangled network called the endocrine system. This system manages the coordination of many body actions. It is very important to understand the symptoms, causes, and ways to prevent thyroid disease.
The thyroid gland produces hormones that balance your body’s metabolism. When the thyroid doesn’t function, we can see the consequences in the entire body.
The four common disorders of thyroid are:
1. Hyperthyroidism (Graves’ disease)
Thyroid glands are overactive and produce more hormone refers to hyperthyroidism.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism:
- Increased sweating
- Trouble in sleeping
- Unplanned weight loss
- Irregular menstrual periods
- The menstrual cycle has stopped
- Eye irritation or vision problems
2. Hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s disease)
Thyroid glands are less active and produce insufficient hormone refers to hypothyroidism.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Dry skin and hair
- Weight gain
- Frequent and heavy menstrual periods
- Having a hoarse voice
When thyroid glands expand disregarding the cause it refers to goiter.
Symptoms of Goiter:
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Swelling in the lower part of your neck
- Difficulty in breathing
- Hoarse voice
4. Thyroid nodules
The fluid-filled lumps that appear within your thyroid gland refer to thyroid nodules.
Symptoms of Thyroid nodules:
- Increased sweating
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Undetermined weight loss
Along with the symptoms, you should also note the causes and ways to prevent thyroid disease.
Causes of Thyroid
The thyroid gland doesn’t generate enough hormones. This disturbs the balance of chemical response in your body. There are two types of thyroid:
Causes of Hypothyroidism are:
- Iodine deficiency: The thyroid gland utilizes iodine to produce hormones. The body is not able to produce iodine on its own, so food sources help in getting iodine.
- Any non-functioning thyroid gland: The thyroid gland does not function from birth. It should be immediately treated as it has health-related problems in the future.
- Thyroiditis: The swelling of the thyroid gland reduces the production of hormones. This causes thyroid disease. You may feel tired and depressed.
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: The body cells attack and damage the thyroid. It causes thyroid disease. It is an autoimmune condition. The main reason for this is inheritance.
- Postpartum thyroiditis: It is a temporary condition. This may occur in women after childbirth, miscarriage, or abortion. It may cause if you have immune system disorder or family history.
- Thyroid surgery: The production of hormones stops. It may be by the removal of all or major parts of the thyroid gland. This leads to thyroid disease.
- Over-reaction to hyperthyroidism treatment: Radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid medications normalize hyperthyroid levels. But, in some cases, it leads to hypothyroidism.
- Radiation therapy and medications: Radiation cures cancer of neck and head affects. It affects the thyroid gland. This leads to hypothyroidism. There are many medications that contribute to hypothyroidism.
Causes of Hyperthyroidism are:
- Thyroiditis: This situation is either painful or not felt at all. The thyroid delivers hormones and lasts for a few weeks or months.
- Graves’ disease: The thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much hormone. This complication is a toxic multi-nodular goiter.
- Excess iodine: Iodine is the mineral that should be used to make thyroid hormones. With the help of excess iodine present in the body, the thyroid makes extra hormones then it needs. Excess iodine is present in some medications and cough syrups.
- Nodules: If a nodule is overactive within thyroid it causes hyperthyroidism. The nodule starts to produce thyroid hormones. This upsets the body’s chemical balance. Some of the goiters consist of many of these nodules.
- Pituitary gives rise to hypothyroidism: The pituitary gland is the master gland. It produces hormones that activate other glands to release other hormones. The pituitary generated hyperthyroidism is central hyperthyroidism.
- Fetal-Neonatal hyperthyroidism: The newborns of women who suffered from graves’ disease in pregnancy. They may face this hyperthyroidism. A history of treatment in the disease have chances of developing this hyperthyroidism. The warning signs are rising heart rate, low birth weight. They may be due to enlarged thyroid gland, repeated bowel movements.
I hope the symptoms and causes are clear so let’s see ways to prevent thyroid disease
Ways to Prevent Thyroid disease
1.Healthy iodine levels: Iodine intake is the key element of manufacturing thyroid hormones. If there is a deficiency of iodine, there is no production of the thyroid hormone. You must take iron supplements in case of deficiency.
2.Limit your toxic exposures: There are some chemicals that are toxic to your thyroid gland. To name a few:
Triclosan found in antibacterial soaps and toothpaste
BPA found in food can linings and plastic items
The nonstick coating on pans
PFCs for stain-resistance
- Fabrics, etc
Choose products that do not have these chemicals.