Thyroid

Thyroid

Thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in the neck. Its purpose is to regulate metabolism of the body. In healthy people, the thyroid makes just the right amounts of two hormones, T4 and T3, which have important actions throughout the body. These hormones regulate many aspects of our metabolism, eventually affecting how many calories we burn, how warm we feel, and how much we weigh. In short, the thyroid “runs” our metabolism.

HYPERTHYROIDISM

Hyperthyroidism is the medical term to describe the signs and symptoms associated with an over production of thyroid hormone. It is a condition caused by the effects of too much thyroid hormone on tissues of the body.

CAUSES

  • Heredity.
  • Diseases like Grave’s Disease, Plummer’s disease.
  • Tumors.
  • Inflammation of the thyroid gland (thyroiditis).
  • Too much thyroid hormone medication.
  • Excessive dietary intake of iodine (found in seaweed and liver).

SYMPTOMS

  • Palpitations
  • Heat intolerance
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Breathlessness
  • Increased bowel movements
  • Light or absent menstrual periods
  • Fatigue
  • Fast heart rate
  • Trembling hands
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Warm moist skin
  • Hair loss

DIAGNOSTIC TESTS

  • Thyroid hormone blood tests.
  • X-ray scan – to detect any tumors.
  • CT scan- to detect any tumors.
  • MRI- to detect any tumors.

TREATMENT

There is no one treatment that is best for all patients with hyperthyroidism. Many factors will influence the doctor’s choice of treatment, including the patient’s age, the form of hyperthyroidism, the severity of the disease and other medical conditions which may be affecting the patient’s health.

Currently, there are three principal ways to treat hyperthyroidism: drug therapy, radioactive iodine therapy and surgery.

DRUG THERAPY

  • Your doctor will prescribe you drugs which will block the amount of thyroid hormone in the blood.
  • Another medicine may be prescribed to block the action of the circulating thyroid hormone

RADIOACTIVE IODINE THERAPY

It is an alternative if drug treatment fails. The patient is given a capsule or a drink of water containing radioactive iodine which is rapidly absorbed by hyperactive thyroid cells.

SURGERY

Surgery called thyroidectomy is the preferred treatment for people with a large goiter (Enlarged Thyroid Gland).

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