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Thyroid: What You Must Know

 Metabolism of the body is controlled by thyroid by producing thyroid hormone. The thyroid is among the largest endocrine glands in the body. The gland is present below the thyroid cartilage and around the same level as cricoids cartilage. The role of thyroid includes the rate at which the body burns energy, helping to produce proteins, and the sensitivity of the body to other hormones.

The thyroid produces thyroid hormones, mainly that of thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones keep a check on the rate of metabolism and also influence the growth and rate of other systems functions of the body. One of the main components of T3 and T4 is Iodine. Thyroid also makes the hormone calcitonin, that help in calcium homeostasis.

If the hormone production is too much, it is called hyperthyroidism while under production of the hormone is called hypothyroidism. To determine whether one is suffering from hyperthyroid or hypothyroid, one needs to check the blood samples and scans to determine it.

In Hyperthyroid, the gland becomes overactive and the person is said to be suffering from hyperthyroid. The person will find too much energy, feel warm and have palpitations and at the same time lose weight.

If the thyroid is under active that means the hormone production by is not enough, the person will have less energy and he will feel lethargic, slow and tired. This condition is called hypothyroid.

Around half of the people are affected by Hyperthyroidism. It is seem ten times more in women than in men. It can occur at any age though it is more likely to be seen in between the ages of 20 and 50. Hypothyroidism is found ten times more often in women than in men and it occurs at over the age of 40 years.

 Causes of Thyroid

One of the most common reasons for having thyroid disease is when the defense system of the body falsely recognizes its own tissue as an aggressor and starts attacking them. This type of disease is known as autoimmune disease and it makes the thyroid to produce more hormones. The other reason for more production of hormones is when there is a cyst or growth in the thyroid.

There are many reasons for having hypothyroid. It is sometimes seen during ageing process. Women after their menopause have hypothyroidism.

 Thyroid Symptoms

 The symptoms of Hyperthyroidism include weight loss, tremor, heat intolerance, muscle weakness, irregular periods, rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, anxiety and goiter. In hypothyroidism, the hair nails and skin gets dry. The person may suffer from depression or anxiety. The other symptoms include difficulty concentrating or remembering, constipation, weight gain, poor libido, hoarseness, face swelling and puffy eyes, heavy periods in women, breathlessness and swelling of feet and intolerance to cold.

 Treatment of Thyroid

 Doctors prescribe thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) measurement to determine the level. If the level of TSH is more, the person has an inadequate hormone production. But if the level is less, there is an extreme and unregulated production of the hormone. If the result of TSH shows abnormality, there is a decrease level of T4 and T3 thyroid hormones production. Doctors may also prescribe detection of Autoantibodies for different disease states. There are two markers for cancers that is derived from thyroid. These are Thyroglobulin (TG) and calcitonin.

Thyroid illnesses are difficult to stop from occurring. Doctors prescribe with thyroid hormone medication to treat Hypothyroidism. To treat hyperthyroidism, medicines are given to lessen the production of thyroid hormone. Other treatment for hyperthyroidism includes radioactive iodine therapy and thyroidectomy which is the part removal of the thyroid gland.


One should make regular thyroid check ups to determine if he or she is suffering from hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. In many developing countries, iodine is lacking in the diet. Iodine produces thyroxine that has four atoms of iodine. This makes many people to have enlarged thyroid gland that results in swollen necks which is called endemic goiter. Thus Iodine should be included in one’s diet regularly.

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