Read this article to know about what causes thyroid problems. Seek medical help if you think you have symptoms related to thyroid disorders.

What Causes Thyroid Problems

Thyroid, located in the front part of the neck below the thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple), is a gland that regulates the body’s metabolism and controls body’s rate of energy consumption, production of proteins and the growth of body’s tissues. It gets its name from the Greek word for “shield”, because of the shape of the thyroid cartilage. The most common problems of the thyroid gland are hyperthyroidism (overproduction/over activity of thyroid hormone) and hypothyroidism (underproduction/under activity of thyroid hormone). Hyperthyroidism manifests itself with symptoms like formation of toxic thyroid goiter, excess sweating, diarrhea, weight loss, joint pains, nervousness, fatigue, insomnia, and muscle weakness leading to mild tremors in the weak muscle areas; while hypothyroidism manifests itself with symptoms like abnormal weight gain, easy fatigue, poor appetite, hair loss, depression, intolerance to cold, constipation, and pain in the wrists. Apart from this, thyroid disorders also include thyroid nodules, thyroid goiter, thyroiditis, and even thyroid cancers. Read further to know about what causes thyroid problems and what are the treatments available for its cure.
Causes Of Thyroid Disorders
Hyperthyroidism Causes
  • The abnormal stimulation of the thyroid gland by Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulin (TSI – a material present in the blood) can lead to grave’s eye disease, which is known to be a common cause of hyperthyroidism.
  • Inflammation in the thyroid gland can lead to periods of increases thyroid hormones, resulting in thyroid failure, thus causing hyperthyroidism.
  • It can also be caused by usage of a particular heart medicine called amiodarone.
Hypothyroidism Causes
  • Loss of thyroid tissue because of surgical removal or radioactive treatment for hyperthyroidism can lead to hypothyroidism.
  • People with diabetes, arthritis, and chronic hepatitis may have antibodies, which can lead to decreased production of thyroid hormones, thus causing hypothyroidism.
  • Medications like lithium can also lead to hypothyroidism as a side effect.
  • Hypothyroidism can also be present from birth.
Goiter or Nodules
  • Goiters are formed because either the thyroid gland produces too much or too little of hormones.
  • Exposure to external radiation or iodine deficiency often leads to multi-nodular goiters.
  • Thyroid cancers also lead to the formation of goiters.
Treatment Of Thyroid Disorders
A person with thyroid disorders need to consult a doctor at the immediate signs or symptoms mentioned above. A patient with thyroid disorders may have to undergo several blood tests for TSH, TSI, Anti-thyroid antibody, Free T4, and Triiodothyronine T3; and scans like CT scan, Thyroid Ultrasound, and fine needle aspiration. These tests and scans are necessary to determine the severity of the disorder, so that proper treatment and medications like beta-blockers, methimazole, iodide, natural thyroid hormone and some other drugs can be prescribed to the patients. Patients with large thyroid nodules or non-toxic goiters may have to undergo surgical removal of excess of the thyroid tissue. A cancerous condition of the thyroid requires special scanning and treatment procedures. Sadly, there’s no proper way to prevent these thyroid disorders but if possible, people should avoid excessive exposure to radiations through CT scans or X-rays and should use a thyroid shield when undergoing them.
With proper diagnosis and treatment, one can control thyroid disorders from further aggravation.

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