Thyroid Disease Symptoms – Thyroid Diet
This article takes a look at thyroid disease symptoms and problems. The thyroid gland and its functions and issues generally become important whenever a man or a woman begins to experience medically-related problems due to poor functioning of the gland itself. It is one of the most important of the endocrine glands in the body and sits in the front of the neck below what’s called the thyroid cartilage (in men, the nickname is the Adam’s apple).
As a regulator of certain metabolic functions, the thyroid plays a strong role in controlling how the body makes use of energy — or burns it — how protein is made by the body and it also oversees how sensitive the body will be to hormones. Usually this important gland does so by manufacturing what medical professionals call thyroid hormones. As metabolic regulators, these hormones are very important.
Additionally, the thyroid’s ability to make these hormones is important to other systems and systemic functions along with their rate of growth. The gland is controlled by another gland — the pituitary — and also by the hypothalamus, which is a certain portion of the brain that not only controls the endocrine system through the pituitary gland but also the nervous system in the body.
Just from the above, one can readily grasp that the thyroid gland is vital to homeostasis or smooth body function to a great degree. The two most common problems that afflict the gland is hyperthyroidism — which means an overactive gland — and hypothyroidism, meaning and underactive gland. People suffering from either condition experience a wide range of thyroid disease symptoms.
In terms of size, this particular gland is the largest of its kind in the neck. It will generally be butterfly shaped, with the right and left sides being called the lobes of the thyroid. These lobes wrap around the trachea and the sole function of this gland is to make the hormone that carries the same name as the gland itself.
In addition to hypo- and hyperthyroidism, there are several other common medical problems that can arise as a result of malfunction or other issues that can affect the gland in a negative way. Perhaps one of the most common problems is what is called goiter. This particular problem is characterized by an abnormal growth of the gland, sometimes to almost gigantic (relatively speaking) sizes.
In many cases, goiter or goiters are removed for cosmetic purposes, as they can become extremely large. Sometimes, a goiter of sufficient size can begin to compress both the trachea and the esophagus. When it does that, it can make breathing or swallowing very difficult. Sadly, another common problem with this gland is a type of cancer. Happily, the vast majority of people experience excellent long-term survival rates.
Surprisingly hypothyroidism is the main thyroid problem affecting people today. There are different forms of hypothyroidism. The most common is the primary hypothyroidism. Primary hypothyroidism occurs when the T4 levels are low and TSH levels are high. Central hypothyroidism occurs when both the T4 and TSH levels are low. The other form of hypothyroidism is called peripheral hypothyroidism and occurs when the levels of both T4 and TSH are increased.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the T4 levels are high and the TSH levels are low. The main cause of hyperthyroidism is an autoimmune disease called Graves Disease. Graves Disease generates antibodies that inhibit the TSH hormones or receptors in the thyroid causing stimulated synthesis. Another cause of hyperthyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Hashimoto’s also generates antibodies that inhibit TSH hormones however instead of stimulating synthesis it inhibits synthesis.
Thyroid problems that can not be controlled through medications many times require surgery to remove part or the entire thyroid. Upon removing the thyroid a person is automatically sent into a state of hypothyroidism and must take a synthetic hormone supplement to stimulate the metabolic processes of the no longer present thyroid gland.
If you have any of these thyroid disease symptoms, there are treatments available. It is important to have your thyroid checked on a regular basis but also ask your doctor about checking the thyroid functions. The blood test to check the thyroid may not also discover problems with thyroid functioning. Even though the thyroid weighs approximately one ounce and is a small part of the body it is one of the very important features of the body’s endocrine system.