Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism (thyrotoxicosis) are two conditions of the body associated with a violation of the secretory activity of the thyroid gland (TG). The first pathology is very common: 3-4% of the country’s population suffers from it. Thyrotoxicosis is diagnosed in 0.02% of people. Most of the patients are elderly women. Over time, these diseases lead to a decrease in intellectual abilities, the development of thyroid cancer. They are especially dangerous for young children, as they cause a lag in mental and physical development. Therefore, it is important to diagnose and treat these conditions in a timely manner.
What is hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
A malfunctioning thyroid gland causes the production of hormones to slow down or speed up. If they are synthesized in excess, then the pathology is called hyperthyroidism, or thyrotoxicosis. If too few of them are produced, hypothyroidism.
Thyrotoxicosis develops against the background of a toxic goiter of a nodular or diffuse type, subacute thyroiditis. Less commonly, the disease becomes a consequence of a teratoma (dermoid cyst) of the ovary or a pituitary tumor, accompanied by an increase in the production of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). It can also be induced artificially against the background of an overdose of iodine or thyroid medications.
The main reason for the development of hypothyroidism is autoimmune thyroiditis or human infection with the herpes simplex virus type 4. The disease also develops with pathologies leading to a decrease in the mass of the glandular organ or a slowdown in secretory activity. These include deficiency of iodine, selenium, agenesis or aplasia of the thyroid gland. Less commonly, pathology is a consequence of a violation of the synthesis of TSH by the pituitary gland.
Dyspepsia – nausea, vomiting, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.
Sleep deterioration – frequent awakening or insomnia.
Increased fatigue and decreased performance.
Disruptions of the menstrual cycle in women.
Usually the symptoms are opposite to each other. This is due to the fact that the excess and deficiency of hormones in the body are conditions that deviate from the norm in opposite directions. But signs appear on the same systems, tissues:
Skin, legs, hair. With thyroid insufficiency, they dry out, the hair thinns. With redundancy, they become thinner, lose elasticity, hair becomes brittle, and gray hair appears.
Appetite and body weight. With hypofunction of the thyroid gland, appetite decreases, but body weight increases. With hyperfunction of the organ, appetite increases, but weight decreases.
Heart rate and blood pressure. With the suppression of the functions of the gland, the heart rate slows down to 60 beats per minute or less, blood pressure is below normal. With excessive activity, the heart rate accelerates to 90 beats per minute or more, blood pressure is above normal.
Psycho-emotional state. With hormonal deficiency, depression develops, with excess – irritability, fear, anxiety.
With hypothyroidism, patients complain of hearing loss, swelling, and hoarseness. They have a slowdown in reactions, speech and thinking. With excessive activity of the glandular tissue, hand tremors and photophobia develop. The eyes become bulging, the gland enlarges. The patient has a thirst and a frequent desire to urinate.
What should be the treatment
Treatment for these conditions is prescribed by a doctor after research and diagnosis. It consists in correcting the level of TG in the body. It is possible to correct the hormonal background by direct and indirect methods.
How is hypothyroidism treated?
Since the pathology is associated with insufficient production of TG, the easiest way to increase their level in the body to normal is to prescribe replacement therapy. It consists in taking artificial thyroxine. The doctor selects a thyroid drug and determines its daily dose individually for each patient. The dose is adjusted once a year, taking into account the results of a blood test for TSH concentration.
If the hormonal deficiency is associated with an unbalanced diet, the patient is advised to follow a diet. The table should be varied, high in protein, fruits and vegetables. In addition, he is prescribed preparations of iodine and selenium, since these elements are actively involved in the synthesis of thyroxine.