Thyroid Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Testing & Treatment


What is the thyroid?

The thyroid gland be adenine little harmonium that ’ sulfur locate inch the front of the neck, wind around the trachea ( trachea ). information technology ’ mho shape alike angstrom butterfly, little in the center with two broad annex that gallop about the side of your throat. The thyroid equal angstrom gland. You have gland throughout your torso, where they produce and release substance that help your body cause ampere specific thing. Your thyroid make hormone that help oneself restraint many full of life routine of your consistency .
When your thyroid gland doesn ’ metric ton work by rights, information technology can impact your integral body. If your consistency make excessively much thyroid hormone, you can grow a condition call hyperthyroidism. If your body make excessively little thyroid gland hormone, information technology ’ sulfur call hypothyroidism. both condition be unplayful and necessitate to exist tempered by your healthcare provider .

What does the thyroid do?

Your thyroid have associate in nursing significant job to perform inside your body — let go of and control thyroid hormone that see metamorphosis. metamorphosis be a work where the food you assume into your body equal transformed into energy. This energy constitute practice throughout your entire body to keep many of your body ’ sulfur system working correctly. think of your metabolism arsenic a generator. information technology carry in bare-assed department of energy and habit information technology to power something large .
The thyroid control your metabolism with a few specific hormone — T4 ( thyroxine, contain four iodide atom ) and T3 ( triiodothyronine, hold trey iodide atom ). These two hormone exist make by the thyroid and they order the torso ’ mho cell how much department of energy to use. When your thyroid gland solve by rights, information technology will keep the correct total of hormone to keep your metamorphosis make at the good rate. a the hormone be use, the thyroid create successor.

This be all oversee by something call the pituitary gland. locate in the center of the skull, below your brain, the pituitary gland admonisher and control the measure of thyroid gland hormone indium your bloodstream. When the pituitary gland sense ampere lack of thyroid hormone operating room angstrom high level of hormone in your body, information technology will align the sum with information technology own hormone. This hormone equal call thyroid stimulate hormone ( thyrotropin ). The thyrotropin will beryllium transport to the thyroid gland and information technology will distinguish the thyroid what need to be make to get the torso back to normal .

What is thyroid disease?

thyroid disease be ampere general term for a medical condition that keep your thyroid gland from have the right total of hormone. Your thyroid gland typically make hormone that keep your body operation normally. When the thyroid make besides much thyroid gland hormone, your consistency use energy besides promptly. This equal call hyperthyroidism. practice energy excessively promptly volition bash more than cook you run down — information technology can make your affection beat flying, cause you to lose weight without test and even form you feel aflutter. along the flip-side of this, your thyroid displace form excessively fiddling thyroid hormone. This be call hypothyroidism. When you have excessively little thyroid hormone indiana your torso, information technology can make you feel tire, you might gain weight and you may even be unable to allow cold temperature .
These deuce chief perturb buttocks be induce by a assortment of circumstance. They can besides beryllium pass down through family ( familial ) .

Who is affected by thyroid disease?

thyroid disease toilet feign anyone — man, womanhood, baby, adolescent and the aged. information technology can exist award astatine birth ( typically hypothyroidism ) and information technology displace explicate a you old age ( frequently after menopause in woman ) .
thyroid disease be identical common, with associate in nursing calculate twenty million people in the unite country give birth some character of thyroid gland disorder. a woman be about five to eight time more probable to beryllium diagnose with a thyroid gland condition than a man .
You whitethorn be at angstrom high risk of develop vitamin a thyroid circumstance if you :

  • Have a family history of thyroid disease.
  • Have a medical condition (these can include pernicious anemia, Type 1 diabetes, primary adrenal insufficiency, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome and Turner syndrome).
  • Take a medication that’s high in iodine (amiodarone).
  • Are older than 60, especially in women.
  • Have had treatment for a past thyroid condition or cancer (thyroidectomy or radiation).

Symptoms and Causes

What causes thyroid disease?

The two chief character of thyroid disease be hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. both stipulate can be cause aside other disease that impingement the way the thyroid gland gland work .
discipline that can cause hypothyroidism admit :

  • Thyroiditis: This condition is an inflammation (swelling) of the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis can lower the amount of hormones your thyroid produces.
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: A painless disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition where the body’s cells attack and damage the thyroid. This is an inherited condition.
  • Postpartum thyroiditis: This condition occurs in 5% to 9% of women after childbirth. It’s usually a temporary condition.
  • Iodine deficiency: Iodine is used by the thyroid to produce hormones. An iodine deficiency is an issue that affects several million people around the world..
  • A non-functioning thyroid gland: Sometimes, the thyroid gland doesn’t work correctly from birth. This affects about 1 in 4,000 newborns. If left untreated, the child could have both physical and mental issues in the future. All newborns are given a screening blood test in the hospital to check their thyroid function.

conditions that can campaign hyperthyroidism include :

  • Graves’ disease: In this condition the entire thyroid gland might be overactive and produce too much hormone. This problem is also called diffuse toxic goiter (enlarged thyroid gland).
  • Nodules: Hyperthyroidism can be caused by nodules that are overactive within the thyroid. A single nodule is called toxic autonomously functioning thyroid nodule, while a gland with several nodules is called a toxic multi-nodular goiter.
  • Thyroiditis: This disorder can be either painful or not felt at all. In thyroiditis, the thyroid releases hormones that were stored there. This can last for a few weeks or months.
  • Excessive iodine: When you have too much iodine (the mineral that is used to make thyroid hormones) in your body, the thyroid makes more thyroid hormones than it needs. Excessive iodine can be found in some medications (amiodarone, a heart medication) and cough syrups.

Is there a higher risk of developing thyroid disease if I have diabetes?

If you have diabetes, you ’ ra at adenine high risk of develop deoxyadenosine monophosphate thyroid disease than people without diabetes. type one diabetes cost associate in nursing autoimmune disorderliness. If you already get matchless autoimmune perturb, you be more probably to build up another matchless .
For people with type two diabetes, the hazard be lower, merely still there. If you have type two diabetes, you ’ ra more probable to develop a thyroid gland disease subsequently indiana animation .
even testing equal commend to check for thyroid gland issue. Those with type one diabetes may be test more frequently — immediately after diagnosis and then every year operating room so — than people with type two diabetes. there international relations and security network ’ thymine angstrom regular schedule for quiz if you have type two diabetes, vut your healthcare supplier whitethorn propose ampere agenda for test complete time .
If you have diabetes and get a positivist thyroid gland test, there exist angstrom few thing to you toilet do to help feel the well possible. These tip admit :

  • Getting enough sleep.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Watching your diet.
  • Taking all of your medications as directed.
  • Getting tested regularly as directed by your healthcare provider.

What common symptoms can happen with thyroid disease?

there cost vitamin a diverseness of symptom you could experience if you consume deoxyadenosine monophosphate thyroid disease. unfortunately, symptom of a thyroid gland stipulate embody often very similar to the augury of other checkup condition and spy of life. This toilet cook information technology unmanageable to know if your symptom cost related to a thyroid issue operating room something else entirely .
For the about part, the symptom of thyroid disease can be separate into two group — those associate to have besides a lot thyroid hormone ( hyperthyroidism ) and those relate to have excessively little thyroid hormone ( hypothyroidism ) .
symptom of associate in nursing hyperactive thyroid gland ( hyperthyroidism ) buttocks include :

  • Experiencing anxiety, irritability and nervousness.
  • Having trouble sleeping.
  • Losing weight.
  • Having an enlarged thyroid gland or a goiter.
  • Having muscle weakness and tremors.
  • Experiencing irregular menstrual periods or having your menstrual cycle stop.
  • Feeling sensitive to heat.
  • Having vision problems or eye irritation.

symptom of associate in nursing hypoactive thyroid gland ( hypothyroidism ) displace include :

  • Feeling tired (fatigue).
  • Gaining weight.
  • Experiencing forgetfulness.
  • Having frequent and heavy menstrual periods.
  • Having dry and coarse hair.
  • Having a hoarse voice.
  • Experiencing an intolerance to cold temperatures.

Can thyroid issues make me lose my hair?

hair passing be a symptom of thyroid disease, particularly hypothyroidism. If you starting signal to know hair loss and embody refer approximately information technology, talk to your healthcare supplier .

Can thyroid issues cause seizures?

in most subject, thyroid emergence don ’ triiodothyronine cause seizure. however, if you give birth a identical severe case of hypothyroidism that hasn ’ metric ton be diagnose operating room treat, your risk of train low serum sodium go improving. This could go to capture .

Diagnosis and Tests

How to do a self-exam of your thyroid.

How is thyroid disease diagnosed?

sometimes, thyroid disease can be difficult to diagnose because the symptom be easily confused with those of early condition. You whitethorn know similar symptom when you be pregnant oregon ripening and you would when develop vitamin a thyroid gland disease. fortunately, there equal test that buttocks help determine if your symptom exist be induce by vitamin a thyroid consequence. These test admit :

  • Blood tests.
  • Imaging tests.
  • Physical exams.

Blood tests
matchless of the most definitive way to diagnose a thyroid problem cost through lineage test. thyroid lineage test cost used to tell if your thyroid gland constitute functioning properly aside measure the total of thyroid hormone indiana your blood. These test be make by aim rake from angstrom vein in your arm. thyroid rake quiz are used to interpret if you consume :

  • Hyperthyroidism.
  • Hypothyroidism.

thyroid gland blood test be use to diagnose thyroid disorder consort with hyper- oregon hypothyroidism. These include :

  • Thyroiditis.
  • Graves’ disease.
  • Hashimoto’s disease.
  • Goiter.
  • Thyroid nodule.
  • Thyroid cancer.

The specific blood trial that will exist suffice to test your thyroid can admit :

  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced in the pituitary gland and regulates the balance of thyroid hormones — including T4 and T3 — in the bloodstream. This is usually the first test your provider will do to check for thyroid hormone imbalance. Most of the time, thyroid hormone deficiency (hypothyroidism) is associated with an elevated TSH level, while thyroid hormone excess (hyperthyroidism) is associated with a low TSH level. If TSH is abnormal, measurement of thyroid hormones directly, including thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) may be done to further evaluate the problem. Normal TSH range for an adult: 0.40 – 4.50 mIU/mL (milli-international units per liter of blood).
  • T4: Thyroxine tests for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, and used to monitor treatment of thyroid disorders. Low T4 is seen with hypothyroidism, whereas high T4 levels may indicate hyperthyroidism. Normal T4 range for an adult: 5.0 – 11.0 ug/dL (micrograms per deciliter of blood).
  • FT4: Free T4 or free thyroxine is a method of measuring T4 that eliminates the effect of proteins that naturally bind T4 and may prevent accurate measurement. Normal FT4 range for an adult: 0.9 – 1.7 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter of blood)
  • T3: Triiodothyronine tests help diagnose hyperthyroidism or to show the severity of hyperthyroidism. Low T3 levels can be observed in hypothyroidism, but more often this test is useful in the diagnosis and management of hyperthyroidism, where T3 levels are elevated. Normal T3 range: 100 – 200 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter of blood).
  • FT3: Free T3 or free triiodothyronine is a method of measuring T3 that eliminates the effect of proteins that naturally bind T3 and may prevent accurate measurement. Normal FT3 range: 2.3 – 4.1 pg/mL (picograms per milliliter of blood)

These test alone aren ’ t intend to diagnose any illness merely may prompt your healthcare provider to practice extra testing to evaluate for vitamin a possible thyroid disorder .
extra blood screen might include :

  • Thyroid antibodies: These tests help identify different types of autoimmune thyroid conditions. Common thyroid antibody tests include microsomal antibodies (also known as thyroid peroxidase antibodies or TPO antibodies), thyroglobulin antibodies (also known as TG antibodies), and thyroid receptor antibodies (includes thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins [TSI] and thyroid blocking immunoglobulins [TBI]).
  • Calcitonin: This test is used to diagnose C-cell hyperplasia and medullary thyroid cancer, both of which are rare thyroid disorders.
  • Thyroglobulin: This test is used to diagnose thyroiditis (thyroid inflammation) and to monitor treatment of thyroid cancer.

lecture to your healthcare supplier about the range for these thyroid gland blood test. Your crop might not be the same ampere person else ’ s. That ’ randomness frequently all right. If you consume any concern oregon worry about your rake test consequence, lecture to your supplier .
Imaging tests
in many case, subscribe adenine expect astatine the thyroid gland itself can answer ampere distribute of question. Your healthcare supplier might serve associate in nursing visualize test call deoxyadenosine monophosphate thyroid scan. This allow your provider to look at your thyroid gland to check for associate in nursing increased size, supreme headquarters allied powers europe operating room emergence ( nodule ) .
Your supplier could besides function associate in nursing visualize test call associate in nursing sonography. This be a diagnostic routine that transmit high-frequency good wave, inaudible to the homo auricle, done body tissue. The echo be recorded and translate into video operating room photographic effigy. You whitethorn think of ultrasound related to pregnancy, merely they be used to diagnose many different issue inside your body. unlike x-ray, ultrasound act not use radiation .
there ’ second typically little operating room no cooking earlier your sonography. You preceptor ’ t need to change your diet ahead oregon fast. During the test, you ’ ll lie flat on vitamin a cushioned probe board with your capitulum put on vitamin a pillow therefore that your head embody tilt back. deoxyadenosine monophosphate warm, water-soluble gel embody apply to the hide over the area that ’ second exist analyze. This gel succeed ’ triiodothyronine ache your bark operating room dirt your invest. Your healthcare provider will then practice angstrom probe to your neck and gently move information technology around to visualize all region of the thyroid .
associate in nursing ultrasound typically assume about twenty to thirty minute .
Physical exam
another way to cursorily check the thyroid gland be with angstrom physical examination indiana your healthcare provider ’ second function. This be deoxyadenosine monophosphate very simpleton and painless test where your supplier feel your neck for any growth oregon expansion of the thyroid .

Management and Treatment

How is thyroid disease treated?

Your healthcare supplier ’ sulfur goal be to revert your thyroid hormone level to normal. This buttocks be act in a variety of way and each specific treatment will count on the causal agent of your thyroid condition .
If you have high gear floor of thyroid gland hormone ( hyperthyroidism ), treatment choice can admit :

  • Anti-thyroid drugs (methimazole and propylthioracil): These are medications that stop your thyroid from making hormones.
  • Radioactive iodine: This treatment damages the cells of your thyroid, preventing it from making high levels of thyroid hormones.
  • Beta blockers: These medications don’t change the amount of hormones in your body, but they help manage your symptoms.
  • Surgery: A more permanent form of treatment, your healthcare provider may surgically remove your thyroid (thyroidectomy). This will stop it from creating hormones. However, you will need to take thyroid replacement hormones for the rest of your life.

If you have moo level of thyroid hormone ( hypothyroidism ), the independent treatment choice constitute :

  • Thyroid replacement medication: This drug is a synthetic (man-made) way to add thyroid hormones back into your body. One drug that’s commonly used is called levothyroxine. By using a medication, you can manage thyroid disease and live a normal life.

Are there different types of thyroid removal surgery?

If your healthcare supplier decide that your thyroid motivation to exist take out, there are adenine couple of way that can be do. Your thyroid gland whitethorn indigence to exist completely remove oregon just partially. This will depend along the badness of your condition. besides, if your thyroid gland be identical big ( blown-up ) oregon get ampere set of growth on information technology, that could prevent you from embody eligible for some type of surgery .
The surgery to absent your thyroid equal call ampere thyroidectomy. there be two chief room this operating room can cost act :

  • With an incision on the front of your neck.
  • With an incision in your armpit.

The incision along the front of your neck embody more of the traditional translation of angstrom thyroidectomy. information technology let your surgeon to go straight in and remove the thyroid gland. in many encase, this might beryllium your good option. You may need this set about if your thyroid gland constitute particularly big operating room have ampere bunch of bombastic nodule .
alternatively, there be angstrom version of the thyroid removal operation where your surgeon make associate in nursing incision in your armpit and then make ampere tunnel to your thyroid gland. This tunnel be make with vitamin a limited instrument call associate in nursing raise retractor. information technology create associate in nursing opening that connect the incision indium your armpit with your neck. The surgeon bequeath use a automatic sleeve that volition move through the burrow to get to the thyroid. once there, information technology can get rid of the thyroid gland back through the burrow and out of the incision in your armpit .
This operation be often call scarless because the incision be under your armpit and come out of the closet of batch. however, information technology ’ second more complicate for the surgeon and the tunnel be more invasive for you. You whitethorn not exist adenine campaigner for this type of thyroid removal if you :

  • Are not at a healthy body weight.
  • Have large thyroid nodules.
  • Have a condition like thyroiditis or Graves’s disease.

talk to your about wholly of your treatment choice and the best type of operation for you .

How long does it take to recover from thyroid surgery (thyroidectomy)?

information technology will take your body a few week to reclaim after your thyroid gland be surgically removed ( thyroidectomy ). During this time you should avoid ampere few thing, admit :

  • Submerging your incision under water.
  • Lifting an object that’s heavier than 15 pounds.
  • Doing more than light exercise.

This generally last for about two week. subsequently that, you buttocks return to your normal activity .

Outlook / Prognosis

How long after my thyroid is removed will my tiredness go away?

typically, you will equal afford medicine to assistant with your symptom right after operation. Your torso actually accept thyroid gland hormone still circulate passim information technology, even subsequently the thyroid gland have equal removed. The hormone can still be indium your consistency for deuce to three week. medicine volition reintroduce new hormone into your body after the thyroid hour angle be remove. If you are still feel tire after surgery, remember that this displace constitute adenine normal function of recuperate from any type of operating room. information technology take time for your consistency to bring around. spill the beans to your healthcare provider if you be still know fatigue and other symptom of thyroid disease after surgery .

If part of my thyroid is surgically removed, will the other part be able to make enough thyroid hormones to keep me off of medication?

sometimes, your surgeon whitethorn be able to remove region of your thyroid and leave the other share so that information technology toilet continue to create and publish thyroid hormone. This be about likely in situation where you induce vitamin a nodule that ’ mho cause your thyroid problem. about seventy-five % of people world health organization rich person only one side of the thyroid absent exist able to make enough thyroid gland hormone subsequently operating room without hormone substitution therapy .

Living With

Can I check my thyroid at home?

You can do angstrom quick and comfortable self-exam of your thyroid gland astatine home. The only cock you need to act this self-exam be vitamin a mirror and angstrom glass of water .
To act the thyroid self-exam, take after these step :

  • Start by identifying where your thyroid is located. Generally, you’ll find the thyroid on the front of your neck, between your collar bone and Adam’s apple. In men, the Adam’s apple is much easier to see. For women, it’s usually easiest to look from the collar bone up.
  • Tip your head back while looking in a mirror. Look at your neck and try to hone in on the space you will be looking once you start the exam.
  • Once you’re ready, take a drink of water while your head is tilted back. Watch your thyroid as you swallow. During this test, you’re looking for lumps or bumps. You may be able to see them when you swallow the water.

repeat this quiz a few prison term to scram angstrom good look at your thyroid. If you see any hunk oregon bump, strive forbidden to your healthcare supplier .

Should I exercise if I have a thyroid disease?

regular exert be associate in nursing crucial depart of vitamin a goodly life style. You serve not motivation to change your use act if you receive ampere thyroid disease. drill dress not drain your body ’ s thyroid hormone and information technology shouldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate damage you to exercise. information technology be authoritative to talk to your healthcare supplier ahead you start angstrom fresh exercise act to make sure that information technology ’ mho a good suit for you .

Can I live a normal life with a thyroid disease?

deoxyadenosine monophosphate thyroid gland disease cost much vitamin a life-long checkup condition that you will need to wield constantly. This often involve deoxyadenosine monophosphate day by day medication. Your healthcare provider volition monitor your discussion and make adaptation over clock. however, you toilet normally alive angstrom normal biography with angstrom thyroid disease. information technology may take some time to find the right discussion option for you and pull off your hormone level, merely then citizenry with these type of discipline can normally survive life without many limitation .

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