Thyroid is butterfly shape endocrine gland (organ) present in the lower- central part of the neck. It produces certain chemical called T3 (Triiodothyronine) and T4 (Tetraiodothyronine) hormone. These thyroid hormone are produce under the effect of hormone called Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which is secreted by Brain. Thyroid hormones (T3& T4) are very important for the optimum function of our all the organ system of body.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which thyroid gland dose not produces the optimum amount of thyroid hormone (T3& T4). That means thyroid gland is underactive. As we know thyroid hormone are very important for the function of body organs and cells, body cannot function optimally when thyroid hormones are low and body get slow down. You feel tired, fatigue, weakness, constipation, forgetfulness, weight gain despite poor appetite. You may feel intolerance to the cold in case of low thyroid hormone. Women may have irregular periods. Hypothyroidism can be easily diagnosed by the measurement of thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism is not curable condition but it is easily manageable with the help of medication. As thyroid gland is not producing enough amount of thyroid hormone, patients have to take it (levothyroxine; T4) from outside as a tablet form. All the symptom of hypothyroidism is easily manageable if you take medicine regularly. You need to have periodic monitoring of thyroid hormone level to adjust the dose of levothyroxine.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which thyroid gland produces excess (too much) amount of thyroid hormone (T3 & T4). That means thyroid gland is over-active. Body function get disturbed due to too much amount of thyroid hormone and all the function of body speed up. You may develop nervousness, irritability, fatigue, difficulty in getting sleep. Lots of sweeting, palpitation, loose and frequent stool, weight loss inspite of good appetite. Women may have menstrual irregularities due to excess thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism mostly because of autoimmune disease called Graves’ diseases and excess thyroid hormone production from lump and /or lumps in thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism can be diagnosed by measurement of thyroid hormone. Sometime doctor performs special investigation like TSH receptor antibody level or Radio-nucleotide scan to diagnose various causes of hyperthyroidism. Various option are available for the treatment of hyperthyroidism like oral anti-thyroid medication, radioiodine and surgery.The choice of treatment will depend on your symptoms and the cause of your hyperthyroidism.
Enlargement of thyroid gland is known as goiter. It appear as a swelling on the lower part of neck. The most common cause of goiter worldwide is iodine deficiency. Currently the number of patients with goiter has reduced due to iodinated salt intake.
Goiter may be
If the goiter is large than it can compress nearby structure in the neck which may lead to difficulty in swallowing [due to compression on food-pipe (oesophagus)], difficulty in breathing (due to pressure on wind-pipe (Trachea)] and hoarseness of voice (due to pressure on nerves). Small goiter with normal thyroid hormone may not need treatment. Some cases of goiter requires evaluation and medical or surgical management.
Thyroid cancer is often arise from the lump in thyroid. They may just present as small lump in the lower part of neck. Sometimes lump may be large and may cause compression on surrounding structure leading to difficulty in swallowing [due to compression on food-pipe (oesophagus)], difficulty in breathing (due to pressure on wind-pipe (Trachea)] and hoarseness of voice (due to pressure on nerves).As compare to other cancer, thyroid cancer is treatable and can be cured with the help of surgery and radioiodine treatment. That is why it is important to evaluate every lump of thyroid to detect changes of cancer, so the disease can be detected early and can be cured.