Unexpected weight gain/loss? It could be a thyroid disorder

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About 200 million people in the world have some form of thyroid disease. Thyroid disorders that affect certain parts of the body are mostly treatable; however, untreated thyroid disease can produce serious results in other parts of the body. Awareness and understanding of thyroid disorders will enable patients and their families to cope with thyroid illness.

About thyroid gland

The thyroid is a small gland, shaped like a butterfly that rests in the middle of the lower neck. Its primary function is to control the body's metabolism. The gland is a regulator of all body functions. The thyroid produces hormones, T4 and T3, which governs the energy usage by the body's cells. Thyroid disorders are 4 to 7 times more common in women.

What is thyroid disease?

Through the hormones, it produces, the thyroid gland influences almost all of the metabolic processes in the body. Thyroid disorders can range from a small, harmless goiter (enlarged gland) that needs no treatment to life-threatening cancer. The most common thyroid problems involve abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Too much thyroid hormone results in a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Insufficient hormone production leads to hypothyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism: Due to overproduction of thyroid hormone, hyperthyroidism can accelerate the body's metabolism, causing unintentional weight loss and a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Symptoms

• Unintentional weight loss

• Irregular heartbeat

• Nervousness, anxiety and irritability

• Changes in menstrual patterns in women

• An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), which may appear as a swelling at the base of your neck

• Fatigue, muscle weakness

• Difficulty in sleeping

Hypothyroidism: The condition may not cause noticeable symptoms in the early stages. Untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.

Symptoms

Problems associated with hyperthyroidism may tend to develop slowly, often over a number of years.

• Enlarged thyroid gland

• Increased sensitivity to cold

• Constipation

• Dry skin

• Weight gain

• Muscle weakness

• Elevated blood cholesterol level

The emotional aspect of thyroid disease

Hyperthyroid patients often feel unusually nervous or irritable. While hypothyroid patients can feel unusual fatigue or depression. Therefore, it is important for thyroid patients and their families to understand that these reactions are common and likely to resolve with treatment.

Monitoring of thyroid disease

Thyroid patients require life-long monitoring. For the cure of thyroid illness, patients should routinely follow-up with the specialist.

Pregnancy and thyroid

Thyroid hormones are crucial for normal development of the baby’s brain and nervous system. Pregnancy has a profound impact on the thyroid gland and thyroid function since the thyroid may encounter changes to hormones during pregnancy. However, to avoid complications during pregnancy, it is important for a pregnant woman to talk to a specialist to prevent the risk factors associated with thyroid disease.

Proper diet and medications are few effective treatment options to prevent the risk factors associated with thyroid diseases. Manage thyroid disease and the problem associated with it by seeking the best treatment advise from the endocrinologist through Gloheal Virtual ClinicTM. Visit your nearest virtual clinic: //www.gloheal.com/contact-us

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