Yes, it’s your thyroid gland, which is a tiny butterfly-shaped gland present at the base of your neck. This is an important gland that is responsible for taking the thyroid hormone through your body through your blood. In several ways, these thyroid hormones are responsible for maintaining your body’s metabolism.
Before discussing the causes of thyroid disorders, let’s first know what thyroid disorder is.
Thyroid disorders are conditions if your thyroid gland is not functioning correctly, or there is a change in the level of secretion of thyroid hormones. These thyroid hormones are important hormones, which help to regulate numerous metabolic processes throughout your body.
The thyroid produces many of the vital hormones by using iodine. The thyroid gland produces a primary hormone which is Thyroxine, and it is also known as T4. Once the hormone is released to your body tissues through blood, a portion of T4 is converted to triiodothyronine (T3), which is the most important active hormone of the thyroid.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is released by the pituitary gland because of the secretion of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) by the hypothalamus in the brain, as a result of low thyroid hormone levels. As a result of TSH stimulation to the thyroid gland, there is a release of more T4.
Types of Thyroid disorders and treatment
There is a wide range of thyroid disorders which includes:
The symptom of hypothyroidism does not develop rapidly. It takes even several years for some noticeable symptoms. Feeling tired or depressed are the initial symptoms of thyroid disorder after which you will also notice other symptoms, including:
- Feeling cold
- Muscle pain and muscle weakness
- Weight gain
- Dry skin
- Dry and thinning hair
- Less sweating
- Hoarse voice
- Severe menstrual bleeding
In general, hypothyroidism can be treated with certain medicines that provide the required thyroid hormone to your body to perform the routine work. These medicines are simple human-made thyroid hormones that are taken in the form of pills.
The symptoms of Hyperthyroidism develop gradually with weight loss and feeling anxious. But, over time, you can also notice some of the below symptoms.
- Irregular heartbeat
- Feeling irritable
- Sleepless nights
- Muscle weakness
- Increased bowel movement
In the long run, Hyperthyroidism may affect your bones and increase the risk for osteoporosis that might cause bone weakness. Especially, women who are going through their menopause are more vulnerable to osteoporosis.
The treatment for this thyroid disorders may be different for every people based on their health condition. However, treatment for hyperthyroidism may include:
Medicine: Taking Antithyroid medication can block the thyroid gland from producing more thyroid hormones.
Beta-blockers: These beta-blockers affect the thyroid hormones in your body, and this will also help treat symptoms of the disease and lower the heart rate.
Radioiodine: Radioiodine will kill the thyroid cells which produce thyroid hormones.
Thyroiditis is caused due to the inflammation of the gland, and it happens when your body’s immune system develops antibodies that affect the thyroid gland.
Causes of thyroiditis include:
- Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes
- Viral or bacterial infection
- Certain Medication
Some examples of thyroiditis are postpartum thyroiditis and Hashimoto’s disease
A thyroid nodule is a non-cancerous tumor of swelling in one part of the thyroid gland. This nodule may be solid or might be filled with fluid or blood.
What Causes Thyroid Problems?
Most of the men and women are affected by Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism. As mentioned earlier, women are more vulnerable to thyroid disorder. Especially pregnancy can develop thyroid disorders, and if left untreated, it may cause problems for baby and mother, including premature birth, stillbirth, or miscarriage. However, the majority of the issues with the thyroid are caused by:
- Iodine deficiency
- Bacterial or Viral infection that causes thyroid Inflammation
- Thyroid nodules
- Cancerous or non-cancerous tumors on the thyroid gland
- Specific medical procedures such as thyroid surgery, radiation therapy or medical treatments
- Genetic disorder
Read on to know more about the causes of thyroid disorders like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism
The causes for all types of hyperthyroidism are because of the overproduction of thyroid hormones, but the condition may vary in several ways:
- Graves’ Disease: This is caused by the secretion of more amount of thyroid hormone.
- Toxic Adenomas: In the thyroid gland, you can notice the development of Nodules, which begin to secrete thyroid hormones, resulting in affecting the body’s chemical balance.
- Subacute Thyroiditis: Sometimes, there is a discharge or a leak in the thyroid hormone because of the Inflammation of the thyroid. This leads to temporary hyperthyroidism, which may be for a few weeks or even persist for several months.
- Pituitary Gland Disorder: Cancer tumors growths in the thyroid gland are a rare case, but there are chances for the development of hyperthyroidism from these causes.
Are Women At More Risk For Thyroid Disease?
Women are easily affected by thyroid disease when compared to men. In women’s lifetime, one in eight women will develop thyroid problems. Thyroid disorders may affect women’s:
In women, this thyroid gland plays an important role and controls their menstrual cycle. If more thyroid hormone generation or little thyroid hormone secretion, it affects your periods by making it very light, heavy, or irregular.
Sometimes, this may end up causing the periods to stop for many months. This is called amenorrhea. Apart from your thyroid gland, all the other glands will be involved if your immune system is not functioning properly. This is a cause for early menopause at times.
Ovulation, which is an important process in the process of getting pregnant, will be affected if you have a thyroid disorder and have an irregular menstrual cycle. Thus, it makes it difficult for you to get pregnant.
Problems During Pregnancy
During the pregnancy period, it’s more likely to be affected by a Thyroid disorder. This may cause health problems for both the mother and the baby.
At several times, thyroid disorder symptoms are seen as menopause symptoms. There are more chances to get hypothyroidism after your menopause period.