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  • Siddhant Sugandhi

Thyroid: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

A dysfunctional thyroid gland can lead to a multiple health issues that affect more than one organ systems. Before we learn about what thyroid disease is, let’s dive into the whereabouts of what the Thyroid gland does and why it is so important for the body.

The thyroid gland is a shield-shaped endocrine gland located in front of your neck that is responsible for producing thyroxin and some other hormones that regulate the metabolism, growth, development and even the crucial processes of the body like respiratory and heart rates.


A lot of times, due to unknown reasons, this gland can be dysfunctional that might be in the form of over production or under production of hormones, both of which can tamper with one’s health greatly.

Now that we know what thyroid does, let’s learn what are the problems that could be caused by its dysfunction.


Hyperthyroidism

This is condition which is caused due to the over-production of the hormone thyroxin which leads to a number of disturbances in the body. Some symptoms of Hyperthyroidism may be:

  1. Weight loss

  2. Irregular heartbeat

  3. Excessive sweating

  4. Hyperactivity, irritability, restlessness

  5. Mood Swings

  6. Menstrual Disturbances

The treatment therapy for Hyperthyroidism includes therapies that aim to reduce thyroid production, this can be with the help of radioactive iodine, anti-thyroid medicines, or even surgery in extreme cases. All this paired with a beta blocker to reduce the manifestations.


The management of this disorder can be simple and mostly includes diet and lifestyle modification that can be in the form of:

  1. Consumption of non-iodized salt

  2. Reduction of dairy from the diet

  3. Consumption of coffee

  4. Consumption of more fruits and vegetables in the raw form

  5. Minimizing your iodine intake


Hypothyroidism

Contrary to Hyperthyroidism, here the thyroid levels are low. This is the more common manifestation of the two. The various disturbances in the body caused by Hypothyroidism may be:

  1. Weight gain

  2. Weakness

  3. Lethargy

  4. Decreased heart rate

  5. Irritability

  6. Mood Swings

  7. Hair loss

  8. Slow Growth

  9. Menstrual Irregularity

The mainstay of treatment for hypothyroidism is hormone replacement therapy which includes ingestion of synthetic thyroid hormone preparations regularly. Though there have been attempts at correcting this at the gene level, the results for the same have not been proven to be enough to include it as a gold standard treatment.


The management of hypothyroidism also includes lifestyle and diet modifications that aim at reducing the number of calories in your food and inclusion of more fibre:

  1. Low calorie, filling foods

  2. Salads, fruits

  3. Ingestion of eggs, fish and other sources of high protein and iodine content

  4. Incorporation of gluten-free products

  5. Taking non-caffeinated beverages

  6. Lowing alcohol intake

  7. Having more dairy-rich products


Conclusion


Thyroid disease can be a cause of worry for the individuals who suffer through it, though there is no permanent cure for these ailments, it can sure be managed with the help of lifestyle changes and regular intake of medicines.


It is crucial to visit a doctor today if you are facing any of the symptoms of thyroid disease. These chronic diseases require you to take regular medication, which can be disruptive to one’s financials and hence it is critical to look for alternate options for the treatment of the same.


Nonetheless, if managed properly this disease like all others can be made easy to live with. So, stay fit, stay healthy!

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