The thyroid gland carries out some of the most crucial functions in the body. Likewise, any thyroid disease will affect all the organs of the body. This is why signs and symptoms of thyroid problems vary according to the type of thyroid disease. Here, common symptoms of each thyroid disease are presented and discussed in detail.
Graves' disease symptoms
Also called toxic goiter, this disease is diagnosed more frequently in women than in men. Graves disease occurs due to the production of a large quantity of both types of thyroid hormones. Common symptoms of Graves' disease include:
Hashimoto's disease symptoms
Hashimoto's disease is also called chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis (CLT). During CLT, antibodies present in the immune system reduce the production of thyroid hormones. Common symptoms of this thyroid disease include:
The presence of excessive thyroid hormones in the blood leads to this condition. Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism are:
When the level of thyroid hormones is low in the blood, metabolic processes are slowed. Common symptoms for hypothyroidism disease are:
Postpartum thyroiditis symptoms
Occurring after child birth, this thyroid disease has two stages - hyperthyroidism that occurs based upon some damage in the thyroid gland. If this stage continues for some unspecified time and does not demonstrate any signs of improvement after being on medications, hypothyroidism may develop. It affects around five percent of women after childbirth.
Thyroid cancer symptoms
Thyroid cancer does not present any of the symptoms that are found in other thyroid diseases. Small tumors formed inside the thyroid gland are known as thyroid nodules. Presence of such nodules in thyroid gland are quite common. More than ninety percent of these nodules are benign (non-cancerous). In case any of the nodules turn cancerous, the condition can be fatal. Thyroid nodules that cause cancer are hard. They can be detected by external touch. Thyroid cancer can be diagnosed in the course of examination of any thyroid disease.
When to seek help
Thyroid disease is very harmful to health. Ask your doctor to evaluate any unusual swelling in your neck, especially if you have trouble breathing or swallowing. Doctors recommend that you seek medical help if you develop any signs and symptoms of thyroid disorders. Additionally, if you are aware that any thyroid disorders run in the family, schedule an appointment with your family doctor and have him/her check for the disorder. Seek help if you experience:
Thyroid disease can be diagnosed by blood test, thyroid scan and ultrasound exam for pregnant women. For more information on how thyroid disorders are diagnosed, continue reading about thyroid disorders in the next section. We'll review common tests and exams for normal thyroid levels here.