The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland that produces hormones that affect the metabolic processes of the human body. For example, some of these hormones (triiodothyronine and thyroxine) are responsible for the growth of organs and tissues, while the other, calcitonin, ensures the exchange of calcium in the bone apparatus.
What threatens the health of men, women and what does thyroid disease entail? The thyroid gland, with its unstable work, is really capable of giving us a lot of trouble. Reduced or, conversely, increased activity of this organ leads to a variety of diseases (which will be discussed below), since the “thyroid” is also associated with other endocrine glands of our body. Thus, a thyroid disorder can lead to general disorders in other organs.
The danger of pathologies of the thyroid gland also lies in the fact that even its slight instability already causes far from pleasant diseases and requires appropriate medical intervention.
Causes Associated with Thyroid Disorders
Of course, there are many factors contributing to thyroid diseases. It can be hereditary predisposition to certain diseases, and other reasons, for example, external stressful situations. There are a number of main reasons why various thyroid pathologies are possible:
overload associated with a particular emotional state;
changes in hormonal levels as a result of exposure to adverse natural factors (including environmental pollution);
improper nutrition, which led to a lack of vitamins necessary for the body, as well as iodine deficiency;
the consequences of a particular treatment: condition after surgery and taking certain medications;
changes during pregnancy or childbirth;
hereditary diseases, etc.
The reasons described are the main factors affecting the unstable functioning of the thyroid gland. More precisely, such an unstable job represents an over or under production of hormones. As a result, the thyroid gland begins to get tired and loses its ability to produce the right hormones in the right quantities. Therefore, there are corresponding diseases, the symptoms of which will be discussed below.
Symptoms of Thyroid Related Diseases
How to recognize a thyroid disorder? What are their signs? The fact is that there are a lot of symptoms that occur against the background of thyroid diseases and they can sometimes be confused with signs of completely different pathologies. But it should be noted that the thyroid gland, with its instability, can either increase in size or decrease. This is already a cause for concern, as well as a fairly obvious symptom.
In general, the symptoms of a painful condition of the thyroid gland are as follows:
swelling of the arms, legs, face;
joint and muscle pain;
states of a psychological nature: depression, lethargy, depressed mood, nervous disorders, fears, anxiety;
increased activity in children;
metabolic disorders, poor appetite and weight gain / loss;
shortness of breath, impaired heart function;
skin diseases: itching, cracks, acne, dryness (including hair);
enlargement of the liver;
violation of the reproductive system.
If signs of thyroid disease have been identified and the diagnosis has been made correctly, then it is imperative to treat the thyroid gland. We will learn more about what treatment should be carried out in this article, but first we will discuss what diseases of the thyroid gland are and why they are so dangerous.
Diseases associated with the thyroid gland: names
A huge number of people in our country suffer from diseases associated with the thyroid gland: 40-95% depending on the region of residence. An unstable state of the thyroid gland occurs in people of different ages and genders. But most often they are exposed to the fairer sex aged 35 to 40 years . And this is no coincidence, because disorders in the thyroid gland occur quite often against the background of pregnancy and childbirth, as noted above.
And the whole danger in the last described case lies in the frequent impossibility of a normal pregnancy or even bearing a fetus. But it should be noted that doctors during this period monitor the patients and, of course, take into account all negative factors accompanying pregnancy. Therefore, we advise you to keep in touch with the appropriate specialists in the event of pregnancy, just in case.
So, diseases associated with the thyroid gland can be characterized as follows. Firstly, these can be diseases that do not contribute to any changes in the gland itself, for example, the formation of a cyst. Secondly, diseases that affect the increase or decrease in hormonal levels: hyper- and hypothyroidism. Thirdly, various hormonal syntheses can occur, for example, thyrotoxicosis disease.
In general, the main diseases that are common can be identified:
the goiter is toxic;
hypo- and hyperthyroidism;
Now let’s talk about some of these diseases.
This is the most common disease in thyroid pathologies. It is associated with a lack of hormones and is very dangerous during pregnancy. For example, in its severe form, hypothyroidism affects the fetus so strongly that the child is often born dead, and the surviving infant suffers from mental illness, cretinism, and has problems in physical development.
In other cases, adults with hypothyroidism face problems in the work of the cardiovascular and nervous systems. Apathy, depression, anxiety can also be observed. If the disease is not immediately treated, then people get swelling of the extremities, anemia, headache. If these symptoms appear, you should immediately consult a doctor.
This disease, on the other hand, is characterized by an increase in the production of hormones. This causes disturbances in the nervous system, provokes fears, tremors and accelerated speech. A person can also suffer from cardiovascular ailments: arrhythmia, tachycardia. If the disease is left untreated, edema occurs, including protrusion of the eyeballs. Diseases of the gastrointestinal system, including diarrhea, develop. Convulsions are not excluded.
With this disease, the thyroid gland increases markedly, this can be observed visually. Moreover, this happens in four stages:
At the first stage, the goiter cannot yet be detected with the naked eye.
At the second stage, it is also difficult to observe it with a normal gaze, but it is already palpable with your fingers.
In the third stage, the goiter can be seen, but is still growing outward, although there may be some difficulty in swallowing.
In the fourth stage, the goiter begins to grow inward and presses on the throat.
In total, we know two types of goiter: nodular and diffuse. In the first case, we are dealing with an increase in individual areas – nodules. In the second case, the entire area in which the goiter is located swells.
Nodular goiter is an enlargement of the so-called nodules, which will manifest itself as the appearance of corresponding bulges on the skin. In this case, the presence of a foreign body is felt in the throat.
Diffuse goiter already in the initial stages causes discomfort in the throat, and as a result contributes to problems associated with the flow of oxygen into the lungs, as well as with swallowing. This is especially true with physical exertion.
If the thyroid gland becomes inflamed, it can develop into thyroiditis. The disease is associated with changes in the immune system, often occurs without obvious symptoms, and is usually common among women and adolescents. Postpartum thyroiditis is widely known.
The disease goes away against the background of an increase in the level of hormones, but often ends with its normalization. With tangible symptoms, patients experience a feeling of fatigue and weakness, and the limbs and face also swell. Discomfort is felt in the throat, a goiter is formed. Long-term thyroiditis can develop into a malignant tumor – cancer.
The disease itself, called “cancer”, is already an extremely dangerous pathology. Thyroid cancer is no exception. Of course, this disease can lead to death. Moreover, in its early stages it is difficult to define. At later stages, the patient’s general well-being worsens significantly. In order not to start thyroid diseases to such a state, it is better to immediately consult a doctor when the first symptoms associated with thyroid pathologies appear.
How is thyroid disease treated?
When diagnosing diseases of the thyroid gland, various solutions may arise for treatment, depending on the nature of the pathology. With non-life-threatening diseases, everything will be much easier than with a cancer diagnosis. But in no case should you give in to panic. Firstly, you should consult a doctor in a timely manner, and secondly, the thyroid gland is well treated.
It should be understood that thyroid diseases still require the intervention of a specialist, since it is not recommended to experiment with the so-called “folk methods” on your own. This is not a runny nose. In any case, a doctor’s consultation never hurts.
It should also be borne in mind that swelling in the throat cannot necessarily mean cancer, since even a goiter (not a malignant tumor) visually looks like a rather impressive tumor.
Treatment of thyroid diseases is an individual procedure and each patient requires a different approach. If you were in the same room with a person who was helped by a certain medicine and certain methods, this does not mean that the same will help you.
Sometimes it can be surgery, sometimes it can be medication. But as for nutrition, it is recommended to use plant foods and seafood for thyroid pathologies. Alcohol, sausages, eggs, confectionery, carbonated drinks should be excluded from the diet.