The thyroid is a gland that sits low of the neck on the front of the trachea, the thyroid secretes several hormones, that act throughout the body, influencing metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature.
The thyroid gland uses iodine from the foods to make two hormones T3 and T4, thyroid hormones act throughout the body by receptors. The thyroid hormones secretion is regulated by the pituitary and hypothalamus in the brain. it is possible that symptoms will develop when a defect occurs in the previous three levels.
Women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems, incidence risk increases with age, sometimes thyroid disorders are congenital, genetic factors have important role of thyroid disease.
Thyroid diseases are caused by increased hormones secretion or reduction, viral or bacterial infection, autoimmune disorders, benign or malignant tumors, sometimes its volume increases without functional disorders.
Symptoms of thyroid hormones disorders: weight gain or weight loss with healthy appetite, pain and swollen thyroid, lymph nodes in neck, hoarseness or deep voice, rapid heart rate ( tachycardia) or slow heart rate ( bradycardia), shortness of breath, high blood pressure, headache, memory loss, amnesia, hearing lack, weakness, exercise intolerance, cold intolerance, heat intolerance, muscles pain, dry skin, Brittle nails, hair loss, excessive sweating, chronic constipation, diarrhea, low libido, irregular menstrual cycle.
In children, thyroid disorders may cause global developmental delay, short stature, learning difficulty, anxiety, agitation, muscles laxity, premature puberty and delayed puberty.
Long term complication of thyroid disorders: untreated thyroid disease causes severe complications like heart attack, heart failure, coma, recurrent miscarriage, recurrent colitis, bowel obstruction.
Usually, thyroid disorders are diagnosed by thyroid hormones test, thyroid ultrasound, neck CT scan, sometimes it needed biopsy.
Thyroid disorders are treated with thyroxin, antithyroid medications, removal of the thyroid gland by surgery, ablation thyroid by radioactive iodine therapy. these treatments are effective, and have a few of side effects.
People who are more susceptible to thyroid disease: we recommend to routine screening for thyroid disease if patient has familial history of thyroid disorders, patient had past thyroid disease and had been treated, Diabetic patients, Malabsorption patients, Vitiligo, Addison’s disease, Down syndrome, Turner syndrome and patients who are treated with Amiodarone (antiarrhythmic medication).
Dr. Maher Alshaheen
Endocrine and Diabetes Specialist