THYROID DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH
January is the month of thyroid disease awareness. Thyroid diseases are very common. 1 in 3 women suffers from a thyroid disorder.
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck just below Adam’s apple. It’s part of an endocrine system. The thyroid gland manufactures hormones that regulate your body’s metabolism. Several different disorders can arise when your thyroid produces too much hormone (hyperthyroidism) or not enough (hypothyroidism).
In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland is overactive. It produces too much of its hormone.
Hyperthyroidism affects about 1 percent of women. It’s less common in men.
ease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism, affecting about 70 percent of people with an overactive thyroid. Nodules on the thyroid — a condition called toxic nodular goiter or multinodular goiter — can also cause the gland to overproduce its hormones.
Excessive thyroid hormone production leads to symptoms such as restlessness, nervousness, racing
heart, irritability, increased sweating, shaking, anxiety, trouble sleeping, thin skin, brittle hair, and nails, muscle weakness, weight loss, bulging eyes (in Graves’ disease) Hyperthyroidism diagnosis and treatment
A blood test measures levels of T3, T4, and TSH.
Your doctor might also give you radioactive iodine by mouth or as an injection, and then measure how much of it your thyroid gland takes up. Your thyroid takes in iodine to produce its hormones. Taking in a lot of radioactive iodine is a sign that your thyroid is overactive.
Treatments for hyperthyroidism destroy the thyroid gland or block it from producing its hormones.
Antithyroid drugs such as methimazole prevent the thyroid from producing its hormones.
A large dose of radioactive iodine damages the thyroid gland. You take it as a pill by mouth. As the thyroid gland takes in iodine, it also pulls in the radioactive iodine, which damages the gland. Surgery can be performed to remove your thyroid gland.
If you have radioactive iodine treatment or surgery that destroys your thyroid gland, you will develop hypothyroidism and need to take thyroid hormone daily.