A gland shaped like a butterfly, the thyroid gland can be found in the anterior portion of the neck. It plays an important role in regulating important functions of the body like heart rate as well as breathing, menstrual cycle, and body temperature control. It produces hormones that help the body’s metabolic process, including control of body weight and control of cholesterol levels.
Causes and Risk Factors of Thyroid Disorders
Some of the diseases that affect the thyroid gland include hyperthyroidism as well as hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid hormone level is below normal and is oftentimes caused by autoimmune diseases. Other causes include iron deficiency and medication side effects. Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, is when the production is above normal. This can also be caused by an autoimmune disorder like Grave’s disease as well as benign tumors of the gland. Other causes include excessive iodine in the body and thyroiditis.
Goiter is the swelling of the thyroid gland, and the primary cause is iodine deficiency. Other types of thyroid disorders include thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer.
Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Disorders
Below are the common signs and symptoms of thyroid disorders:
- Too high thyroid hormone level – anxiety and irritability, shaking of the hands, increased sensitivity to hot weather conditions, and light menstrual periods.
- Too low thyroid hormone level – tiredness and easy fatigability, inability to concentrate, increased sensitivity to cold weather conditions, and heavy, oftentimes painful, menstrual periods.
Treatment and Prevention of Thyroid Disorders
It’s important to have your thyroid hormone levels checked if you are having these symptoms, especially if thyroid problems run in your family. The levels will also be monitored closely when you are being treated to adjust the dosage of drugs. The costs can pile up, you can save some money by comparing the rates of the lab tests in our market place and choose the best medical provider that offers the tests at the most affordable rate.