Thyroid gland is one of the most important parts of human body. It plays a major role in regulating and managing overall physiological activities of the human body. Biologists and experts are of the opinion that after Pituitary it is the only gland that holds major importance.

The thyroid gland is located at the base of the neck and is one of the largest endocrine glands. It weighs about 20 grams. The main duty of the thyroid gland is to produce thyroid hormone, which is essential for body metabolism and growth. Thus they control the ability of the body to use energy, make proteins, regulating metabolism and many other body functions that are crucial for human body to survive.

Even a slight alteration in the hormone level can affect the quality of our health. Experts are expressing great concerns over the rapid spread of Thyroid related diseases amongst us.

Approximately 70 million people worldwide have some or the other form of thyroid disorder. Most thyroid diseases can be treated; however it is important to be diagnosed on time. Thyroid diseases are approximately 4 to 7 times more common in women than men. Awareness and understanding can help people cope with thyroid disease more effectively.

Common Thyroid Problems

When the function of the thyroid gland is impaired, problems arise. Thyroid diseases are of many types, but the most common are Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism, also known as Grave’s disease, is when the thyroid gland is over active and an excessive production of thyroid hormone takes place. Thyroid nodules develop and they secrete excessive hormones. This upsets the chemical balance of the body.

Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland is under active. There is insufficient production of thyroid hormone. Since thyroid hormones assist in energy production in your body, a decrease in hormone production leads to lower energy levels. This is an auto immune disorder and if not treated in time may result in damaging the thyroid tissue altogether. If this happens, hormone production stops. In such a case the thyroid gland has to be surgically removed.

The experience of each person with thyroid is different. Some people may have symptoms other than the commonly listed ones, like hair loss, infrequent menstrual cycles, flaky skin, etc. Any abnormal changes in the body should be reported and only after a test, thyroid disease can be diagnosed.

Goitre and Thyroid Cancer-

Thyroid problems sometimes also lead to Goitre. Goitre is the enlargement of thyroid nodules. There are chances that a miniscule 5% of these nodules could develop into Thyroid Cancer. Thyroid Cancer, which is relatively rare, can be removed by surgery.

Symptoms of Thyroid:-

  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Fluid retention
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Muscle weakness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Low blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Body pain
  • Intolerance to heat
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Goitre

However, the good news is that it is possible to control both Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism with proper and early diagnosis of the disease.  Hyperthyroidism can be treated by reducing the excess hormone levels. On the other hand for Hypothyroidism, the missing hormone needs to be replaced.