The thyroid gland plays a big role in many of the processes in our body associated with metabolism. Usual disorders can range from a minor case of goiter (enlarged gland) that does not require treatment versus the other extreme where a case of life-threatening cancer is diagnosed. The common culprit behind this issue lies in the abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Any excess production can lead to a health condition known as hyperthyroidism. On the other hand, insufficient hormone output can lead to hypothyroidism. Although many consider the effects of these condition to be relatively uncomfortable, most thyroid problems can be managed if diagnosed and treated properly.
According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), "more than 12% of the U.S. Population will develop a thyoid condition in their lifetime."
The causes of Thyroid Problems?
It is known to occur under varying circumstances that include:
- Graves' disease: Too much thyroid hormone
- Toxic adenomas: Nodule development in thyroid gland that stimulate it to secrete hormones that disrupt the body's chemical balance; certain cases of goiter contain many of these nodules.
- Subacute thyroiditis: Inflammation of the thyroid that causes gland to leak excess hormone. It results in temporary hyperthyroidism that can range in length from a few weeks to several months.
- Pituitary gland malfunction or cancerous growths in thyroid gland
- Removal of thyroid gland
- Exposure to excess iodide in salt
- Lithium: This drug has been linked to hypothyroidism
To diagnose thyroid diseases, your physician may check your medical history, conduct a physical exam, and perform a series of thryoid tests to rule out the exact cause of the problem. Some examples of treatment options include prescription medicines, radioiodine therapy, thyroid surgery, etc.
Unsure of your Thyroid health? Get tested today by seeing a qualified endocrinologist.