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Common Thyroid Diseases: Do You Have One of These?

By    |   Tuesday, 08 Mar 2016 02:36 PM

Thyroid diseases occur when hormones released by the gland in the throat aren't released properly, and a few of these diseases are fairly common.

The American Thyroid Association estimates thyroid diseases affect 20 million Americans, with women five to eight times more likely to develop these issues than men.

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Here are six diseases and issues that can arrives from thyroid problems.

1. Hypothyroidism

This disease occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce a sufficient amount of hormones. Symptoms include feelings of fatigue and tiredness, depression, and weight gain, among many others, Endocrine Web lists. In essence, it slows the body’s metabolism. Typically, patients take replacement hormones to treat the symptoms.

2. Hyperthyroidism

The exact opposite of hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism is an illness that occurs when the thyroid produces too many hormones. Typically, these patients have a higher metabolism. Symptoms include weight loss, insomnia, hand tremors, and rapid or irregular heartbeat, says the Mayo Clinic. Several medications are available to prevent the over-production of hormones.

3. Hashimoto’s disease

Hashimoto's is also known as chronic lymphatic thyroiditis. It is the most common form of hypothyroidism, but it occurs specifically when the immune system begins attacking the thyroid gland mistakenly. This harms the gland’s ability to produce hormones. Symptoms of and treatments for Hashimoto’s disease are similar to those of hypothyroidism.

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4. Graves’ disease

This illness is the most frequent cause of hyperthyroidism. It is named after the doctor who discovered it some 150 years ago. In this autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks the thyroid, causing overproduction of hormones that regulate the metabolic rate. Symptoms include anxiety, irritability, diarrhea, enlarged thyroid, and other similar symptoms to hyperthyroidism. Beta blockers, anti-thyroid medications, radioactive iodine, and thyroid removal surgery have been shown to help some patients with Graves’ disease, Healthline reports.

5. Goiter

A goiter can develop from both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. This bump on the throat is the result of an enlarged or swollen thyroid gland, Healthline states. Its symptoms are typically not severe, but it may cause tightness in the neck, difficulties with breathing or swallowing, and coughing. Iodine, many times, is used to treat a goiter, especially if it is a result from an iodine deficiency. Radioactive iodine will shrink the swelled thyroid gland.

6. Thyroid nodules

These are growths that develop on the thyroid gland or within it. According to Healthine, the causes are not certain, but seem to be connected to iodine deficiency and Hashimoto’s disease. The nodules may be filled with a liquid or be solid; most are not cancerous, but in rare cases, they may be malignant. If the growths become too large, they may cause a goiter to develop as well as lead to difficulties breathing. Nodules sometimes can release thyroid hormones themselves. For this reason, they may increase the levels of hormones in the body and cause symptoms similar to those of hyperthyroidism. Harmless nodules may not require treatment. Those with cancer may need more observation from doctors to decide the best course of action.

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Thyroid diseases occur when hormones released by the gland in the throat aren't released properly, and a few of these diseases are fairly common.
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2016-36-08
Tuesday, 08 Mar 2016 02:36 PM
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