The thyroid gland is a small structure that is found in our neck and is just below the voice box. It may be relatively tiny in comparison to the human body but it plays a huge role in our health because it regulates the body’s metabolic processes.
It is estimated that 20 million people in America have a thyroid disease and more disturbingly, 12 million of these individuals aren’t even aware of it. Women suffer thyroid issues more frequently than men with 12% of females forced to deal with a thyroid problem at some point in their lives. There are dozens of different diseases related to this tiny gland but we will just cover the most common below.
List of Thyroid Conditions
This is a condition caused by a lack of thyroid hormone production. This can lead to the slowing down of important body functions and lead to symptoms such as fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, dry skin and constipation. The most severe form of hypothyroidism is called myxedema and could lead to heart failure and seizures if it isn’t treated in time. Children with this condition could suffer from stunted growth and delayed sexual development while infants can suffer mental retardation in rare cases.
This is the opposite of hypothyroidism as it is a condition where the individual produces too much of the thyroid hormone. Symptoms include insomnia, rapid heart rate, weakness, sensitivity to light and tremors.
This is deemed to be a chronic autoimmune disorder and is the most common thyroid problem. Those who suffer from Grave’s Disease find that their immune system creates antibodies that actually attack the thyroid which increases the production of thyroid hormone to excessive levels and causes inflammation.
Around 100 people are diagnosed with this condition each day in the United States. Thyroid cancer is divided into papillary, medullary, anaplastic and follicular cancer with papillary cancer by far the most common. The other three forms of cancer are more aggressive and hard to treat.
This can be associated with either hyper- or hypothyroidism and is an inflammation of the gland. It is often caused by an infection or exposure to a chemical which is toxic to the gland. The symptoms include a feeling that resembles a sore throat though it can also be painless which makes it hard to spot.
If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, perhaps you have a thyroid issue that has been left undiagnosed. When in doubt, visit your general physician for a check-up.