The thyroid gland sits in the base of the neck, just below the thyroid cartilage. It’s made of two connected lobes. It’s a relatively small organ, but it’s instrumental in a person’s metabolic rate. The thyroid releases various hormones. It also generates protein and enzymes. The organ also regulates the amount of energy the body spend and how fast the heart beats. All these processes are part of your metabolic rate.
Any disorder could disrupt the delicate balance of a person’s metabolism. Two of the most common thyroid disorders are Hyperthyroid and Hypothyroid. In today’s post, we are explaining both conditions and how to recognize the symptoms.
The amount of thyroid hormone the organ generates is the difference between these disorders. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid generates excessive thyroid hormone. Graves ’ disease often causes this condition. Graves’ disease is a disorder where the immune system triggers the excessive production of thyroid hormones.
Because hyperthyroidism’s symptoms develop slowly, it’s hard to diagnose. A person suffering from hyperthyroidism will suffer from extreme weight loss or weight gain. Rapid heartbeat, irritability, and irregular menstruation could also point to hyperthyroidism. Other symptoms include anxiety, excessive sweating, chronic fatigue and trouble sleeping.
As for treatments, it will depend on the severity of the condition. Usually, the patient is given medical and surgical options. In surgery, a large part of the thyroid is removed through an incision under the collarbone.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid is not producing enough thyroid hormones. When the thyroid is underactive, it causes a variety of health complications. Hypothyroidism is triggered by Hashimoto’s disease. This is a disorder wherein a hyperactive immune system attacks the thyroid. Radiation treatment, thyroid removal and even treatment for hyperthyroidism could trigger this condition.
Just like hyperthyroidism, symptoms of hypothyroidism develop slowly, making it hard to detect. Symptoms include sluggishness, uncontrollable weight gain, and muscle pain. Hoarseness, bloated face, and increased sensitivity to cold are also indicative of hypothyroidism.
Treating an underactive thyroid requires supplemental thyroid hormones. Thyroid medication is needed to restore balance in the metabolic rate. People who suffer from this condition will be on thyroid medication for the rest of their lives.
Important Factor to Consider After Diagnosis
Don’t always trust your doctor to give you the right medication. Check the medication yourself. There are cases wherein the wrong medication caused serious health complication. In some cases, the side effects of these meds are written off as another disease. If you are diagnosed with a thyroid condition, do your own research. Educate yourself about the disease. More importantly, track your own progress. If something feels wrong after taking medication, let your doctor know.
If your doctor recommended taking radiation tablets, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be specific about your concerns. Don’t take the medication if you are unsure or uncomfortable. It won’t hurt to get a second opinion either. In short, take charge of your own body. Every case is different so doing things by the books does not work all the time.