The Thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland which is a major player in regulating our metabolism. Goiter is an abnormal growth of the thyroid gland. It is painless but can make swallowing and breathing difficulties. Lack of iodine is the common cause of goiter. Treatment depends on the underlying cause, size of goiter and symptoms which involves swelling of neck, tight feeling in the throat, coughing, hoarseness, breathing and swelling difficulties etc. The causal factors include iodine deficiency, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, thyroid cancer, pregnancy, thyroiditis etc.
This is a condition when the body interprets thyroid and its hormone as threats and release antibodies to destroy thyroid cells. Symptoms are hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism with signs such as sweating, weight gain or loss, rapid heart rate, intolerance to cold etc. Genetics, high iodine consumption, age etc. are the causes of autoimmune thyroiditis.
Thyroid glands producer T3 – triiodothyronine and T4- tetraiodothyronine hormones which are necessary for regulating the body metabolism. When these hormones are produced in excess it results in hyperthyroidism. The causes are excess iodine, thyroiditis, tumors of ovaries or testes, benign tumors etc. Increased appetite, nervousness, restlessness, inability to concentrate, irregular heartbeat, fine or brittle hair, nausea or vomiting etc. are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
In hypothyroidism, the glands don’t make sufficient T3 and T4 hormones. This results in the thyroid to function inefficient. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This produces antibodies against thyroid gland, radiation therapy to the neck area, radioactive iodine treatment, medications, thyroid surgeries etc. Depression, constipation, fatigue, memory loss, dry rough skin, hair loss etc. are the symptoms.