The thyroid is a gland, which is located at the base of the neck and in front of the trachea. It has two sides and a butterfly shape.
The main function of the thyroid gland is to maintain a steady rhythm in the metabolism, this means that it should not go neither very fast nor very slow.
The thyroid is controlled by the pituitary gland, this gland makes the hormone that stimulates the thyroid (TSH).
There are two types of thyroid diseases: Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
Hypothyroidism refers to when there is thyroid hormone deficiency in the blood, which slows down the rate of metabolism in the body.
Hyperthyroidism is so named because of excess thyroid hormone, which increases the rate of metabolism.
To make the diagnosis of the thyroid it is necessary to do an examination and some tests.
Your doctor can order:
Clinical laboratory tests.
Thyroid scan: In this study you may be asked to take a small amount of radioactive iodine, so that you can detect areas that are deficient or in excess. This test should not be done in patients with pregnancy.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland decreases the production of thyroid hormone, thus minimizing the rate of metabolism.
The gland becomes inflamed because the body's natural defense system confuses the cells of the thyroid gland and treats them as if they were harmful invaders. When hypothyroidism occurs an enlargement occurs in the thyroid which is known as goiter.
Hypothyroidism can occur due to iodine deficiency, there are foods, in addition to iodized salt, in which iodine is found such as shrimp, spinach, oysters and lobster.
Symptoms can take years to appear, some symptoms are:
Exhaustion or weakness
Lack of hunger
Irregularities in menstrual periods
Lack of sexual appetite
Feeling of cold even when the weather does not deserve it.
Pain in the muscles
Swelling around the eyes
Hypothyroidism can be treated with medication, it is gradually increased until everything is normal. Once you have hypothyroidism you have to take medicine the rest of your life.
Hyperthyroidism develops when the thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone, in this way it speeds up the rate of metabolism.
It occurs in women between 20 and 40 years, a sign of this disease that is unfortunately late is the appearance of a look with wide eyes or bulging eyes.
Hyperthyroidism can develop due to excessive medication for hypothyroidism. Bulges like masses in the thyroid known as nodules are another cause.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
Weakness or exhaustion
Heat when the weather does not deserve it
Irregular menstrual periods
Women with hyperthyroidism may have thyroid seizures that may present with fever, tachycardia, and changes in brain function.
Hyperthyroidism is treated with medication and high doses of reactive iodine can be recommended for the destruction of certain sites of the thyroid gland. Some cases may require surgery.
When a patient suffers from cysts or tumors in the thyroid, it is necessary for the patient to be treated by a General Surgeon.
If you have any or several of the symptoms of either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism consult your doctor remember that the sooner the better.