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Thyroid: Characteristics, Problems And Treatments

By Leandro Morrison

Thyroid is the gland which is butterfly in shape and can be found in the neck's front. This works just like a factory which used iodine from the food that we eat for the production of thyroid hormones. The latter helps in regulating the metabolism of the body and also effect other bodily processes and functions such as growth. This rate of the production of hormone is regulated by another gland which is located in our brain and known as the pituitary gland.

If the hormones are not produced in sufficient amount as when the gland is under active, it can lead to hypothyroidism. The major culprits of this condition include gland inflammation after delivery, acute thyroiditis, silent thyroiditis and autoimmune one. On the other hand, the over production of hormones when the gland is hyper active results in the condition called hyperthyroidism. Major cause of this thyroid problem includes too much iodine intake, toxic multinodular goiter, grave's disease, Hashitoxicosis and toxic nodules.

The signs and symptoms of the problem known as hypothyroidism widely vary and depend on the severity of the deficiency in hormones. Some experiences mental forgetfulness and fogginess, the feeling of excessive cold, dry skin, fatigue or even prolonged and excessive menstrual bleeding. Hyperthyroidism is also suggested by different symptoms. Generally, it signs of this thyroid problem can include, heat intolerance, excessive sweating, rapid heart rate, weight loss and scant or irregular menstrual flow. Those who only have mild hyperthyroidism or those who are over 70 may not show any sign at all. The signs will become manifest when the condition is already worsen.

When the structure of the gland is not properly develop or suffering from abnormalities, a person may also experience thyroid problems. It can be a non-malignant cyst or a cancerous one which can either be anaplastic, papillary, follicular or medullary cancer. When the glands is enlarged, the condition is known as goiter and the sizes ranges from fairly noticeable to cosmetically unappealing which may need surgical removal. If a person suffers developmental abnormalities, the gland may also develop in an abnormal area.

There are also signs and symptoms which can be experiences when the structure of this gland has a problem. This may include tracheal or esophagus compression which leads to difficulty in swallowing and breathing. It may even reach the size wherein it becomes very cosmetically unappealing. The increase in size leads to bleeding which can cause local pain. If one has cancer problem in this gland, he may also experience systemic symptoms like change in appetite, night sweats, and weight loss.

Depending on problems being experienced, there are different ways being used to address it. Medications may be used to reduce the hormone production while others inject synthetic hormone to supply the inadequacy. Surgical treatment is done on over enlarge gland as when it compresses the airways. For those who are no longer responding to medication, radioactive ablation is usually being performed. This is also done for those who have certain form of cancer in this gland.

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