What you need to know about your thyroid gland?

What is a thyroid gland and why is it important?

The thyroid gland is located at the base of the neck and plays an important role in the body’s many systems. The thyroid manages the body’s activities while creating and maintaining hormone levels. If a person’s thyroid is making too many or too few hormones, they will start experiencing symptoms that ultimately will send them to a doctor.

Thyroid symptoms and treatments

One of the most obvious symptoms of a thyroid problem is a protrusion or lump on a person’s neck. Other less noticeable on the outside symptoms include depression, anxiety, noticeable weight gain or loss, unhealthy changes in heart rate, and other symptoms depending on whether your  thyroid is overactive or underactive. 

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)

When the thyroid gland is producing too many hormones and is considered overactive, doctors use the term hyperthyroidism. Symptoms specific to the overactive nature of this diagnosis include bulging eyes (Graves’ Disease), poor sleep, weight loss, high heart rate, heat sensitivity, restlessness and irritability, and goiters. 

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) 

When the thyroid gland is producing too few hormones and is considered underactive, doctors use the term hypothyroidism. Symptoms specific to the underactive nature of this diagnosis include dry skin or hair, fatigue, weight gain, low heart rate, cold sensitivity, hoarse voice and a puffy face. Young women may also experience an increase in menstruation flow if diagnosed with hypothyroidism. . 

There are many factors to people having thyroid disease, including family history, certain medical conditions, taking medication high in iodine, being over the age of 60, and having had thyroid conditions in the past. 

Thyroidectomy 

If a thyroid disorder is to the point of needing to remove the gland entirely, the team at Breathe Clear Institute will schedule a thyroidectomy. This is a surgical procedure that removes the thyroid gland entirely. Below are the four main diseases that lead to this type of surgery:

Graves’ Disease: an autoimmune disorder affiliated with hyperthyroidism; symptoms include a goiter, tremor, weight loss, and anxiety

Goiter: an enlarged thyroid caused by other immunological disorders, iodine deficiency, or hyperthyroidism; symptoms are rare but difficulty swallowing is one

Thyroid Nodule: benign or cancerous groups of abnormal cells associated with thyroiditis or hyperthyroidism; symptoms include a lump of cells above the collarbone on the central neck area

Thyroid Cancer: abnormal cells creating a tumor in or on the thyroid gland; symptoms are a lump on the neck or swollen lymph nodes

People with diabetes are at a greater risk of developing thyroid disease.  If a patient is experiencing any symptoms that sound like the ones listed above, it is important to call a doctor immediately as some of these diseases are life-threatening. 

Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

Thyroid symptoms should not be ignored and need to be treated in a timely manner in order to avoid further complications down the road. Our team will do comprehensive tests in order to diagnose any thyroid conditions. Cases and treatment plans will vary between patients.

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