Thyroid Problems

The thyroid is a butter fly shaped, small gland that is located in the lower region of the neck. The function of the thyroid is secreting hormones. The main hormones that are secreted by this gland include T3 also known as triiodothyronine, and T4, also known as thyroxine, which both deliver energy to the cells within the body.

When a person has a thyroid dysfunction, the conditions and diseases that affect it include:
  • Goiter - Having an enlarged thyroid
  • Hyperthyroidism - Having an overactive thyroid
  • Hypothyroidism - Having an underactive thyroid
  • Thyroiditis - having the thyroid inflamed
  • Thyroid Cancer - Having malignant thyroid tissue or nodules
When a person's thyroid gland is not properly formed at birth, is underactive, is not capable of making enough thyroid hormone, or all or part is surgically removed, a person is referred to as hypothyroid. An autoimmune disease known as Hashimoto's disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidisms, which antibodies slowly target the thyroid and enable its ability to make thyroid hormone. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include depression, weight gain fatigue, and more.

A person is known to be hyperthyroid when their thyroid gland becomes overactive and makes too much thyroid hormone. An autoimmune condition called Graves' disease is the most common cause for hyperthyroidism, and happens when antibodies target the thyroid and cause hormone production to speed up. An autoimmune disease is a condition whereby the body's natural ability to tell the difference between its outside bacteria, pathogens, or viruses vs. organs, tissues, and glands, becomes disrupted. When this happens, the immune system mistakenly initiates and attack on the area affected by making antibodies. When a person has autoimmune thyroid disease, the antibodies make it overactive or they slowly destroy the thyroid.

When a person has Graves' disease, Hashimoto's disease, nutritional deficiencies, or additional thyroid imbalances, the thyroid may become enlarged, more commonly known as a goiter, or an enlarged thyroid. Some people develop liquid filled or solid tumors, bumps, lumps, or cysts that can be cancerous or benign in the thyroid glands which are known as thyroid nodules. A minimal number of thyroid nodules have cancer. A person has thyroiditis when their thyroid becomes inflamed because of a viral or bacterial illness.

If you, or someone you know, is suffering from any of these dysfunctions of the thyroid, you should go see a doctor right away. Most thyroid issues are treatable, but can leave permanent damage if left untreated.