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Women are more likely to develop thyroid disorders than men. Thyroid disorders that can affect women include: disorders that cause hyperthyroidism, disorders that cause hypothyroidism, thyroid nodules, thyroiditis, thyroid cancer, Goiter.
When thyroid makes more thyroid hormones than the body needs, it is called hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid. The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves' disease (an autoimmune disorder, in which the body's own defense system, called the immune system, stimulates the thyroid which causes it to make too much of the thyroid hormones). Hyperthyroidism can also be caused due to thyroid a nodule that prompts excess thyroid hormones to be made. The symptoms of hyperthyroidism include: a speeded up metabolism, weight loss (even if you eat the same or more food), eating more than usual, rapid or irregular heartbeat or pounding of your heart, anxiety, irritability, trouble sleeping, trembling in your hands and fingers, increased sweating, increased sensitivity to heat, muscle weakness, more frequent bowel movements, less frequent menstrual periods with lighter than normal menstrual flow, osteoporosis (or weak, brittle bones) etc.
Another problem is called Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid occurs when your thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormones. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's disease (an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid, which eventually damages the thyroid so that it does not make enough hormones). Hypothyroidism also can be caused by: very aggressive treatment of hyperthyroidism, radiation treatment of certain cancers, thyroid removal, problems with the pituitary gland etc. The symptoms of hypothyroidism include: feeling tired and sluggish, other symptoms of a slowed down metabolism, weight gain (even though you are not eating more food), increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, muscle weakness, joint or muscle pain, depression, fatigue, pale dry skin, puffy face, hoarse voice, excessive menstrual bleeding, high blood levels of LDL cholesterol etc.
The thyroid nodule (these are quite common) is a swelling that occurs in one section of your thyroid gland which can be solid or filled with fluid or blood, and it can be just one thyroid nodule or many. Most of the thyroid nodules do not cause symptoms. But sometimes they make too much of the thyroid hormones, causing hyperthyroidism. Sometimes, these nodules get to be big enough to cause problems with swallowing or breathing, but in fewer than 10% of cases, thyroid nodules are cancerous.
Thyroiditis is inflammation, or swelling, of the thyroid gland. There are several types of thyroiditis, like Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Postpartum thyroiditis, Subacute thyroiditis, silent thyroiditis etc.
Symptoms of thyroid cancer include presence of thyroid nodule that is not causing any symptoms. If a thyroid nodule is small, chances of it being thyroid cancer is minimal. If the cancer is big enough, it may result in swelling which you can see in the neck, which might also be painful or cause problems with swallowing, hoarse voice etc. To know if the nodule is cancerous, your doctor will have to do certain tests.
A goiter is an abnormally enlarged thyroid gland that usually results due to Iodine deficiency. Iodine is a mineral that the thyroid gland uses for making thyroid hormones. Usually, the only symptom of a goiter is a swelling in your neck. But a very large or advanced goiter can cause a tight feeling in your throat, coughing, or problems swallowing or breathing.
Thyroid disorders can at times be hard to diagnose because their symptoms can be linked to many other health problems. Visit your doctor for thorough evaluation and examination. Depending on your symptoms and examination findings, your doctor may order tests, such as: Blood tests like thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels, tests to detect autoimmune antibodies, Radioactive iodine uptake test, Thyroid scan, Thyroid fine needle biopsy, Thyroid ultrasound etc. Treatment as appropriate (based on examination and investigations results) would be started to help you control the symptoms. Be in regular monitoring and follow-up with your treating doctor and report any new/abnormal symptoms immediately. Drink plenty of water. Take adequate rest. Maintain healthy diet and lifestyle.
My daughter is 6 months old with no thyroid. She is currently on 25 mcg tablets. We r very scared. Will our daughter live a normal life. What difficulties she can face in her life. please share with us. I will be very thankful to u.
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