What is thyroid disease?
The thyroid is a little, butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck that wraps around your trachea ( trachea ). The two halves of the thyroid gland are connected in the middle by a thin layer of tissue known as the isthmus. The thyroid gland gland uses tincture of iodine ( largely absorbed from food ) to produce hormones that control how your body uses energy. Your thyroid gland officiate affects about every organ in your consistency .
The pituitary gland and hypothalamus, an area at the base of the genius, control the rate at which the thyroid produces and releases these hormones. The main function of the thyroid gland is to release a hormone called thyroxine or T4, which is converted into a hormone called T3. Both hormones circulate in the bloodstream and help regulate your metamorphosis. The come of T4 produced by the thyroid gland is determined by a hormone produced by the pituitary gland called TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone. Depending on T4 levels in the body, the pituitary gland produces either more or less TSH in orderliness to prompt the thyroid to produce the appropriate sum of T4 .
Thyroid disease occurs when the thyroid fails to function by rights, either by releasing excessively much T4 hormone or by not releasing adequate. Your thyroid may besides develop a lout or nodule. There are three main thyroid disorders :
Reading: Thyroid Disease
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
- Thyroid cancer.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough T4 hormone. hypoactive thyroid gland may occur because the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus, or the thyroid itself is not working by rights. closely five percentage of the population has an hypoactive thyroid. More women than men suffer from the condition. Symptoms of an hypoactive thyroid admit :
- high cholesterol
- hair loss
- memory loss
- extremely dry skin
- feeling cold
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces more thyroid gland hormone than the body needs. hyperactive thyroid gland may occur because the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, or the thyroid itself is not working by rights. hyperactive thyroid gland is not very common. It only affects a fiddling over one percentage of the U.S. population. Just like hypoactive thyroid, more women than men suffer from the condition .
Symptoms of an hyperactive thyroid include :
- weight loss
- rapid heart rate
- intolerance to heat
- irregular menstrual flow
- thinning skin
- sleep changes
- frequent bowel movements
- goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid gland that resembles a large mass protruding from the neck and is caused by the excess hormone production in the gland.
Older patients may experience cardiac arrhythmia ( irregular affection rhythm ), heart failure, and mental confusion ( craze ). Left untreated, patients can suffer from a “ thyroid storm ” in which high gear blood pressure, heart bankruptcy, and fever can lead to a critical situation requiring pressing medical care .
Thyroid cancer occurs when cells in the thyroid switch and multiply, and cancerous cells form nodules or growths. Left untreated, these cancerous nodules can spread into the lymph nodes, surrounding tissues, and bloodstream. Thyroid cancer is rare. however, rates have been on the rise over the last 30 years. Experts believe this addition is by and large due to better detection through the function of sonography technology. Most thyroid cancers can be cured. There are four different kinds of thyroid cancer .
- papillary thyroid gland cancer : 70 percentage of thyroid gland cancer patients have papillary thyroid cancer. It starts in the follicular cells where thyroid hormone is stored. It is boring growing, but up to 20 percentage of patients may have cancer gap to the lymph nodes of the neck at the prison term of diagnosis .
- follicular thyroid gland cancer : Like papillary thyroid cancer, follicular thyroid cancer besides starts in the follicular cells. however, it is a lot more aggressive than papillary cancer and often spreads into the bloodstream and to the lungs or bones. Most follicular thyroid cancer patients are over the age of 40. A rare character of follicular thyroid cancer is called Hurthle cell cancer. Hurthle cell cancers are more likely to have metastasized ( spread ) at the time of diagnosis than the other types of differentiate thyroid gland cancer .
- medullary thyroid gland cancer : medullary thyroid cancer is rare. lone four percentage of thyroid gland cancer patients have this type of cancer. It develops in the C cells of the thyroid that make a hormone called calcitonin. Calcitonin helps the body maintain the appropriate tied of calcium. medullary thyroid cancer may be associated with other types of cancer and may besides be genetic. This cancer has a lower bring around pace than papillary or follicular thyroid gland cancers. however, the overall 10-year survival rates are equally high as 90 percentage when the disease is confined to the thyroid gland gland.
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- anaplastic thyroid cancer : anaplastic thyroid gland cancer is the rare shape of thyroid cancer. It affects only one percentage of thyroid gland cancer patients. It is the most aggressive and most unmanageable thyroid cancer to treat. anaplastic cancer is often called “ undifferentiated ” because the cells do not look or act like distinctive thyroid cells. It can occur within follicular or papillary thyroid cancer or within a goiter ( enlargement of the thyroid gland ). Most anaplastic thyroid gland cancer patients are over the age of 60. The majority will have metastases ( secondary tumors ) present at the time of diagnosis .
There are many causes of thyroid gland disorders. Conditions that affect how the thyroid functions include :
- thyroiditis ( kindle thyroid gland ) : The thyroid gland can become inflamed for strange reasons. This inflammation causes extra thyroid hormone to leak into the bloodstream, causing besides much thyroid gland hormone to circulate throughout the soundbox or hyperthyroidism ( hyperactive thyroid gland ). This period of hyperthyroidism typically lasts no more than three months. finally, the thyroid gland becomes hypoactive, releasing besides little T4 hormone either temporarily or permanently. A viral or bacterial infection may cause thyroiditis. The condition may besides occur following childbirth. Most of the time, the excitement is painless. however, for subacute granulomatous thyroiditis patients, annoyance or discomfort around the thyroid can last for several weeks .
- Hashimoto ‘s disease or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis ( inflame thyroid ) : This condition occurs when a affected role ‘s own immune system identifies the thyroid as alien and produces antibodies to attack it. The thyroid becomes chronically inflamed from these attacks and stops producing enough thyroid gland hormone for the body to function by rights. Scientists believe possible causes include a virus or a bacteria that triggers the immune reply and a genic predisposition to the perturb. People who suffer from other autoimmune disorders such as arthritis, lupus, and Type 1 diabetes are at higher hazard of developing the disease. People who have been exposed to higher levels of environmental radiation besides are at higher hazard .
- Pituitary or hypothalamic disease : Because the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus regulate the thyroid gland, injury to or dysfunction in these areas may cause the thyroid to become hypoactive. This circumstance is known as secondary or tertiary hypothyroidism .
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- Graves’ Disease: The most common cause of overactive thyroid is Graves’ Disease. It occurs when the immune system creates antibodies that cause the thyroid to grow and make more T4 thyroid hormone than the body needs. In healthy people, the amount of T4 is regulated by TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone). Patients with Graves’ disease release antibodies that mimic TSH and fool the thyroid into producing more T4 than is necessary, leading to overactive thyroid.
The antibodies that attack the thyroid often also attack the tissue behind the eyes, a condition known as Graves’ ophthalmopathy or thyroid eye disease. This condition may cause mild symptoms such as red and irritated eyes or sensitivity to light. It may also cause one or both eyes to protrude from the eye sockets as a result of inflammation and swelling in the muscles and tissues in the eye socket. Patients with Graves’ Disease can uncommonly also develop skin thickening and redness on the front of their lower legs, a condition called Graves’ dermopathy.
- Hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules (also called toxic adenoma, toxic multinodular goiter or Plummer’s disease): Non-cancerous nodules called adenomas occur when part of the thyroid gland begins to swell and separate from the rest of the gland. These adenomas may begin producing thyroid hormones independently of the rest of the thyroid gland, a condition called a functioning nodule. When these nodules do not respond to the normal feedback mechanisms meant to keep the thyroid hormone levels in check, this is known as a toxic adenoma or Plummer’s disease.