The human body contains several glands and organs that are responsible for a myriad of different tasks within the body. If one of these glands starts functioning poorly, a huge assortment of debilitating or even life-threatening symptoms may ensue. One of the most significant glands within the human body is the thyroid.
This gland is shaped like a butterfly and is located at the top of the spinal column. The thyroid wraps around the spine and is responsible for the manufacturing of hormones that assist in various metabolic processes throughout the body. The hormones created by the thyroid are directed to the bloodstream where they are delivered to almost every organ in the body.
Because the thyroid gland is such an integral part of holistic body health, thyroid problems can cause any number of symptoms and disorders. This makes diagnosis of a thyroid gland issue very difficult.
The Thyroid Gland and Common Thyroid Problems
About the symptoms of thyroid problems
Identifying symptoms is the most effective way to diagnose a thyroid problem. However, symptoms of thyroid issues are highly varied. Typically, the first symptom experienced is a persistent and dramatic change in energy levels. Lethargy, exhaustion, fatigue, changes in appetite, or depression associated with feeling tired may all be indicative of a thyroid disorder. Poorly functioning thyroid gland symptoms may also include dullness or brittleness in the hair and fingernails, dry or cracked skin, excessive hair loss, nausea, weight gain or weight loss, changes in menstrual cycle regularity or issues with fertility.
While the presence of these symptoms is an indication of a poorly functioning thyroid gland, they do not give any indication of what, specifically, is affecting the thyroid. There are many thyroid disorders and conditions that can negatively impact healthy function.
Goitre and thyroidal Swelling
Goitre is the term given to swelling in a bodily gland. Slight swelling in the thyroid may not be a significant issue. Sometimes, this swelling can be caused by injury, infection, changes in diet, or even pregnancy.
Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are, respectively, underactivity and overactivity in the thyroid. If the thyroid produces too much of a hormone or too little of a hormone, the natural equilibrium of the body can be disrupted.
Another issue that can affect the thyroid gland is the presence of cancer either in or around the thyroid. Cancer cells can grow quite quickly, so quick diagnosis is a necessity. Removal of the tumour and treatment with radiation or chemotherapy may help with thyroid cancer.
If you have questions or concerns about thyroid problems see your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a thyroid surgeon.