#MyFriendAlexa 2021: Post 2
Table of Contents
Thyroid disorder is one of the most common diseases worldwide, almost 1/3rd of the population suffers from subclinical thyroid disorders. The prevalence of thyroid disease is 8% in women and 3% in men.
It’s a very important organ located in the front of the neck surrounding the trachea (windpipe). It gets enlarged in many thyroid diseases and most of the time it’s one of the most common symptoms bringing the patient to the doctor for assessment.
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What does the Thyroid gland do?
It’s responsible for managing the metabolic rate of the body. This means the thyroid decides how much energy should be used by our body.
Thyroid disorders would affect the whole body by altering the metabolic rate.
What happens in thyroid diseases?
In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland produces fewer hormones so the body functions slowly and in hyperthyroidism the body consumes energy faster since the metabolic rate is high.
Risk factors of developing thyroid disease:
- Have a family history of thyroid disease.
- Have a medical condition (these can include pernicious anaemia, type 1 diabetes, primary adrenal insufficiency, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome and Turner syndrome).
- Take a medication that’s high in iodine (amiodarone).
- Are older than 60, especially in women.
- Have had treatment for a past thyroid condition or cancer (thyroidectomy or radiation).
- High demand conditions like pregnancy.
What are the types of thyroid diseases?
- Thyroid nodule (swelling)
- Thyroid cancer
How do I know I have thyroid disease?
To confirm thyroid diseases investigations have to be done:
- Thyroid Function Test for hypo/ hyperthyroidism
- Calcitonin marker of Medullary Carcinoma of Thyroid
- Thyroid peroxidase Antibody (TPO) to rule out autoimmune disease
- Anti-Thyroid Antibody for ruling out antibodies against thyroid
- Thyroglobulin for thyroiditis
- Ultrasound neck
- Radio-Iodine scan by Tc99/ I131
FNAC– Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology for determining the type of disease of the thyroid. It could detect the differences to a certain limit between:
- Multinodular Goitre
- Thyroid cancers
- Thyroid nodules
How is thyroid swelling treated?
Not all types of thyroid swelling need surgery. After investigation, we determine the type of disease and then decide on the course of treatment.
- Medication: Hypothyroid/ Hyperthyroid without any underlying disease could be treated with thyroid stimulating medicine like Levothyroxine or anti thyroid medicines like methimazole/ propylthiouracil.
- Radioactive Iodine: for highly functional thyroid gland
- Surgery: Nodules/ carcinomas/ multinodular goitre/ suspected malignancies/ metastasis etc.
I’ve only discussed few basic things about Thyroid diseases in this post. This post is an introduction to thyroid gland disorders in consecutive posts of this series we’ll discuss the diseases in detail.
Sinister Signs in Thyroid Disease:
- Sudden enlargement of thyroid swelling
- Protusion of eye
- Pain in Thyroid swelling
- Breathing difficulty
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Disclaimer: This post is written as a part of Blogchatter’s My Friend Alexa 2021.