The thyroid plays an important role in the overall health of a person. It is part of the endocrine system, along with the pituitary gland, pineal body, and pancreas, among others. The system works to coordinate the body’s various activities and functions such as those of the brain and reproductive organs. Located at the base of the neck, the thyroid produces a number of hormones that are mainly responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism.
There are instances when the thyroid behaves unusually. Its hormone production sometimes gets abnormal that it leads to different conditions. The following are some of the most common disorders that occur when things go wrong with the thyroid gland:
This is one of the most common thyroid problems. It happens when the gland overproduces hormones. Signs that a person has hyperthyroidism include weight loss and anxiety. Other patients also experience unusual sweating, difficulty in sleeping, and restlessness. Centers offering solutions to thyroid problems in Las Vegas usually prescribe antithyroid medications to people with this condition. In worse cases, the thyroid must be surgically removed to prevent serious complications.
If this is caused by an overactive thyroid, it is due to the gland’s inability to produce sufficient hormones to sustain the body’s functions. This condition is also associated with the presence of Hashimoto’s disease. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include dry skin, weakness, and weight gain. While this disorder is considered mild and is easy to treat, some patients may experience depression, which can also be a serious condition in itself.
Unusual growths or lumps in the thyroid gland are called nodules. They appear as a single growth or as a group of lumps. Sizes of nodules also vary, and when they grow too big, problems may occur. They can cause constrictions on the thyroid and affect other body parts near the gland. There are a number of reasons behind the growth of nodules, with benign cysts and tumors being the most common. There are unfortunate cases when the nodules are actually caused by thyroid cancer. Thyroid nodules cause a person to experience weight loss despite having an increased appetite. Pulse rate also tends to be higher than normal.
The risks are usually small for a thyroid nodule to escalate into cancer. In fact, it happens in about only 5% of thyroid nodule cases. The problem with this, however, is that it may take years to find out if the lumps are cancerous or not. Symptoms of thyroid cancer include croaky voice and difficulty in breathing and eating. There are different treatments for cancer, including thyroid hormone therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.
Proper thyroid care may reduce the odds of developing these conditions. Iodine plays an important role in keeping the gland in good condition. This is why experts suggest eating iodine-rich food such as fortified dairy products, seafood, and seaweed. It also helps to load up on fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to protect the gland.
The most important thing of all is to consult your doctor when you notice symptoms of a thyroid problem. On the other hand, the lack of symptoms doesn’t also mean that your body is completely fine, so visit your doctor for regular checkups.