Common Thyroid Gland Diseases and Problems to Watch For


The Thyroid gland is located on the front of the neck having a butterfly shape. The gland is responsible for the secretion of a group of hormones, collectively called “thyroid hormones”. Out of these, the most crucial one is Thyroxine or T4. Thyroid hormones have an important role in a lot of processes, metabolism, growth, and development, maintaining body temperature, etc. Even during infancy and childhood, an adequate amount of these hormones are needed for brain evolution.

As you can see, the gland has a lot of work to do and is very essential. It becomes a necessity to make sure that it is healthy and functional.

The gland may not function well due to some of the following reasons:

  • To keep it well, the body needs iodine. One reason for facing Thyroid problems can be iodine-deficiency. 
  • Some of the diseases may be autoimmune (the immune system attacks the body itself) in nature. 
  • Genetic disorders may affect the thyroid gland.
  • Cancerous or non-cancerous lumps around the gland.
  • Inflammation of the gland.

We have curated a list of some common diseases and problems pertaining to this gland. If you observe the following symptoms then you must consult with your doctor. Taking an Ayurvedic treatment for thyroid is the best option to treat your diseases related to thyroid without any side effects. 

Some problems that originate from over or under-worked up thyroid gland.

    • Hyperthyroidism

When the gland produces too much hormone. The rate of production of thyroid hormone is controlled by the brain through the pituitary gland, which in turn is under the control of the Hypothalamus. 

  • Symptoms: 
      1. Constant restlessness.
      2. Anxiety
      3. Intolerance to heat
      4. Frequent bowel movements.
      5. Weight loss with an increased appetite.

 

    • Grave’s disease

It is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. This disease makes the whole gland overactive and produces too much hormone! This disease leads to the enlargement of the gland, a condition also known as diffuse toxic goiter. 

  • Symptoms:
      1. Excess sweating
      2. High blood pressure
      3. Abnormal protrusion of eyes
      4. Puffy skin

 

    • Thyroiditis

This is basically the inflammation of the gland which can occur due to a number of reasons. Sometimes, the condition may be very painful and may lead to hyperthyroidism for a few weeks. 

  • Symptoms:
      1. Weight gain/loss
      2. Sensitivity to cold
      3. Sexual dysfunction
      4. Irregular menstruation

 

  • Hypothyroidism

This is a condition wherein the thyroid gland is underworked and it does not produce enough thyroid hormone. This leads to the disruption of heart rate, metabolism, body temperature, etc. 

  • Symptoms:
      1. Feeling cold
      2. Lethargy
      3. Slow growth and delayed puberty
      4. Excessive hair loss

 

  • Hashimoto’s disease

This is chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis and is a special case of hypothyroidism. When the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland, this problem arises. This affects the ability of the gland to produce hormones. Some people who may have mild cases, nay not observe any symptoms. However, some common ones are mentioned.

  • Symptoms:
      1. Dry and thin hair
      2. Dry skin
      3. Heavy menstruation
      4. Puffy face

 

  • Goiter

Goiter is basically the enlargement of the thyroid gland which is non-cancerous in nature. The most widely known cause is iodine deficiency. This may also arise due to prolonged hyperthyroidism. There may not be visible symptoms if the goiter is not severe. However, in stronger cases, you may observe a few.

  • Symptoms:
      1. Swelling or tightness in the neck
      2. Difficulty in swallowing or breathing
      3. Course voice
      4. Excessive wheezing

 

  • Thyroid Nodules/Toxic Adenomas

These are nodules that are formed on or inside the thyroid gland. The actual cause behind it is not known. However, Hashimoto’s disease or iodine deficiency may result in forming nodules. Generally, they are benign, but sometimes a few of the nodules may become cancerous. They show mild symptoms that are similar to hyperthyroidism.

  • Symptoms:
      1. High pulse rate
      2. Weight loss
      3. Clammy skin
      4. Suddenly increased appetite

 

  • Thyroid Cancer

This is the most common type of endocrine cancer especially in children, yet it is very rare to happen. The rate is very low for children below 10 years of age but increases a bit in teenagers. 

  • Symptoms:
      1. Lump in the neck
      2. Swollen glands
      3. Trouble in breathing or swallowing
      4. Hoarse voice

 

  • Postpartum Thyroiditis

This kind of inflammatory condition develops in some women after giving birth. Most of the time, it goes unreported because of the symptoms being similar to ” baby blues”. The women experiencing this condition may feel very moody and tired. It usually begins after 1-2 months after delivering the baby. 

  • Symptoms:
      1. Palpitations
      2. Unexplained weight loss
      3. Excessive fatigue
      4. Increases sensitivity to  heat

The symptoms pertaining to thyroid problems are not very loud and mostly mild. Therefore, it becomes important to look for the signs and get diagnosed on time. Stay healthy.

Author Bio :

Dr. Greeshma Nair(B.A.M.S) is a Staunch believer that Ayurveda is not merely a science but lifestyle too. Her holistic approach towards diagnosis and treatment is based on the root cause of disease and gives you a three-dimensional solution to a condition that includes Ahaar (diet), Vihaar (lifestyle) and Aushadhi (medicines).
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