A Brief Introduction to the Thyroid Gland

The two-inch long butter fly shaped organ, lying in the front of the thorax below the prominence of thyroid cartilage is called the Thyroid gland. Its primary function is to absorb iodine from the foods and change it into hormones. These hormones control the bodily functions.

Three types of hormones are secreted by the thyroid gland, (i) Triiodothyronine, also known as T3, (ii) Tetraiodothyronine, also called thyroxine or T4 and (iii) Calcitonin. The secretion of the thyroid hormone is controlled by another hormone called the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) which is secreted by the pituitary gland situated in our brain.

Other vital functions may include regulating:

  • Breathing
  • Heartbeat
  • Body Weight
  • Strength
  • Body temperature
  • Menstrual Cycle
  • Cholesterol

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid gland produces insufficient thyroid hormones. It affects women more frequently than men. Early symptoms like weight gain and fatigue may appear at a very early age and become common as time passes by. Thyroid treatment in India is competent to easily diagnose and treat these problems but mostly, these symptoms go unnoticed. Over the years, as the thyroid becomes more underactive, more symptoms become evident like:

  • Feeling cold dry skin
  • Muscle weakness
  • Slowed heart-rate
  • Increased blood cholesterol
  • Pain and stiffness in joints
  • Fertility difficulties or menstrual changes
  • Muscle stiffness and aches
  • Depression

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is overactive and starts to secrete more hormones. It is mainly caused by Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder mainly found in women. The medical condition is hereditary and you should consult a doctor if your relatives are suffering from it. Also, hyperthyroidism can occur when the iodine content in the body increases. Other causes are:

  • Inflammation of the thyroid gland that results in leaking of the T3 and T4 hormone from the thyroid gland.
  • Tumours in the ovaries or testes
  • Benign tumour in the thyroid gland or the pituitary gland

When T3 or T4 secretion increases, the metabolism rate of the body increases and the body reaches a state called the hypermetabolic state. In this state, the heartbeat of the person increases, blood pressure elevates and hands shake. The patient may also witness frequent bowel movements, weight loss, excessive sweating, and an irregular menstrual cycle. Furthermore, the thyroid gland can swell into a Goiter. Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism may include:

  • Feeling nervous or agitated
  • Incapable of concentrating
  • Weakness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • hair loss
  • Itching
  • Vomiting

Conditions like a fast irregular heartbeat, loss of consciousness, and dizziness require immediate medical attention.

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If you ever encounter any thyroid gland related issues, consult a doctor as soon as possible. Thyroid treatment in India is quite advanced and any thyroid related issues can be treated. Ignoring can further deteriorate the patient’s condition and prove fatal.

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