Thyroid Gland Problems

Surprisingly, a large population of women and men suffer from thyroid problems in their mid 30s on wards. Although, it is more prevalent in women. I will not go in to causes here but symptoms, as it is important to recognise and diagnose the conditions.

The thyroid gland is situated in the front of your neck and is an endocrine gland responsible for production of two types of hormones T4 and T3. The main hormone is thyroxine, T4. These hormones are  responsible for functions of metabolism and cell growth.

Thyroid gland inefficencies are common and mostly are of two type. An under functioning thyroid , hypothyroidism, or an over active thyroid called hyper thyroidism.

HYPO-THYROIDISM

This is when the thyroid does not produce sufficient of the hormones and this results in the slowing down of the body's metabolic functions. If left untreated, over a long period of time, the symptoms become more obvious and the problem needs to be addressed.

Symptoms of hypo thyroidism:
Problematic facial skin,
Fatigue,
Increased sensitivity to cold,
Constipation,
Dry skin,
Coarse, lack lustre hair,
Weight gain,
Puffy face
Hoarseness,
Muscle weakness,
Elevated blood cholesterol level,
Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness,
Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints,
Heavy or irregular menstrual cycles,
Thinning hair,
Slowed heart rate,
Depression,
Impaired memory,
Poor concentration,
Chapped lips is an early sign of low thyroid function.

A more severe form of hypothyroidism is called HASHIMOTO'S DISEASE. In this case, the person's own immune system attacks the thyroid gland tissue causing inflammation and severe hypothyroidism. It is also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, and can have the following symptoms:

Weight gain,
Fatigue,
Pale or puffiness of the face,
Joint and muscle pain,
Constipation,
Inability to get warm,
Fertility problems,
Joint and muscle pain,
Hair loss or thinning,
Brittle hair,
Irregular or heavy menstruation,
Depression and psychological issues,
Slowed heart rate,
Chapped or constantly peeling lips.

Depending on the severity, Hashimoto's has a link with scoliosis because the back muscles suffer from weakness. If the disease onset is from a young age, then the scoliosis is more prominent.

People with an under active thyroid are placed on thyroid hormone therapy.



HYPER-THYROIDISM
The opposite end of thyroid problems is hyperthyroidism. Here, the thyroid hormones are over produced due to over activity of the gland. This can result in some unpleasant symptoms:

Feeling nervous,
Anxious,
Irritable,
Mood swings,
Feeling very tired,
Feeling weak,
Blurred vision,
Sensitivity to heat,
An enlarged thyroid (goiter),
Weightloss,
Rapid heartbeat,
Palpitations,
Increased frequency in your bowel movements,
Shaking hands and fingers,
Sleep problems,
Thinning skin,
Brittle hair,
Menstrual cycle problems.

Hyper thyroid condition is treated mainly with anti thyroid drugs. In severe cases surgery is required.

For more information see:
www.thyroiduk.org
www.btf-thyroid.org

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