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421 Hyper-Hypothyroidism

Hyper & Hypothyroidism

Hyper & Hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped organ located on the front side of the neck, just below the Adam's apple. The gland has 2 lobes, the right and left, connected by the isthmus. The primary function of the thyroid is to regulate several important hormones in the body, some of which control the body's metabolic rate.

Thyroid function can be measured by the levels of several thyroid hormones in the blood, including TSH, T3, and T4. Too much or too little of these hormones could mean that the person is suffering from a disorder of the thyroid. Disorders associated with the thyroid gland, include Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism, Thyroid Nodules, Thyroid Cancer, and Goiter.

Let's take a look at two of them:

Hyperthyroidism develops when the thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormone. Symptoms and signs to watch out for are:

  • Nervousness, mood changes, weakness, and fatigue
  • Hand tremors, a rapid and irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath even when resting
  • Excessive sweating and warm, flushed skin that may be itchy
  • An increased number of soft stools
  • Fine, soft hair, and hair loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

If left untreated Hyperthyroidism can lead to atrial fibrillation, osteoporosis, and a life-threatening condition called thyroid storm.

Hypothyroidism develops when the immune system produces antibodies that destroy the thyroid tissue and reduce the thyroid's ability to produce the thyroid hormone. Other causes are surgical removal of the thyroid or radioactive therapy. Symptoms and signs to watch out for are:

  • Coarseness and thinning of hair
  • Dry skin
  • Slow body movement
  • Inability to tolerate cold temperatures
  • Feeling tired, sluggish, or weak
  • Memory problems, depression, or difficulty concentrating.
  • Brittle nails, or a yellowish tint to the skin
  • Constipation
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods

A diet rich in vitamins, healthy fats, and proteins can control hypothyroidism to a large extent and enable a person to live a healthy life.

However, regular tests to check hormone levels must be regularly done in the following cases:

  • If signs of hormonal imbalance appear
  • If someone within the family has or is suffering from hypo-/hyperthyroidism
  • If you are going through menopause
  • If you have/have had severe stress

While both conditions are equally hard to manage, Hypothyroidism affects more people, a whopping 2.4% of the population. That's more than 2 out of 100 people! And women are 10 times more likely than men to develop this condition.