Effects Of Thyroid Problems

The thyroid gland is responsible for the body's production of thyroid hormones, which regulate the metabolism. This particular hormone is important because it allows the body to efficiently use energy, vitamins and other hormones. It also determines how the tissues in the body grow and mature. The thyroid gland is found at the front portion of the neck, just below the thyroid cartilage or more commonly known as the Adam's apple. When the thyroid gland is not functioning properly, it can result in hyperthyroidism or producing too much of the thyroid hormones. On the other hand, the condition of producing too little is called hypothyroidism.


One of the effects that can be experienced when there is a problem with the thyroid gland is in the ability to conceive. Women with untreated hypothyroidism can have problems with ovulation, which makes it difficult for them to become pregnant. If the woman does become pregnant, it may be difficult to distinguish the symptoms of hypothyroidism because they are similar to those of a normal pregnancy. Some of these include fatigue, inability to pay attention and tingling in the hands and feet. The most significant effect of a thyroid problem during pregnancy is that it increases the probability of a stillbirth or retardation of growth in the fetus. In addition to this, the woman is more prone to anemia and placental abruptions.


A problem with the thyroid can aggravate existing heart problems and even cause one. The reason for this is that the hormones produced by the thyroid gland play a significant role in the functions of the cardiovascular system. In hypothyroidism, the muscles of the heart cannot pump as strongly as they should, which results in the lessening of blood ejected during a heartbeat. In addition to this, too little thyroid hormone activity results in the reduction of nitric oxide in the blood vessel linings, causing them to become stiff.


Irregularities in the thyroid gland can lead to disruptions in the menstrual cycle of a woman because they can cause early or delayed puberty. Changes in menstrual patterns such as getting less frequent periods or changes in the flow can also be attributed to problems in the thyroid gland. Another effect is amenorrhea or the condition when menstruation stops for prolonged periods of time. Finally, excessive pain such as a stabbing sensation in the lower back, nausea and headaches can also be brought on by problems in the thyroid.


Fatigue is a common effect of thyroid problems. People who experience an overproduction or insufficiency of the hormones are often tired and weakened. Muscle aches, especially around the shoulders and thighs, are also common symptoms. One of the most significant effects of problems in the thyroid is that they can lead to shortness of breath, which merits immediate consultation with the doctor.


The effects of thyroid problems are not just confined within the physical aspect. In some cases, irregularities in the production of the thyroid hormones can lead to mental difficulties as well. For example, people with hypothyroidism have difficulty concentrating and may feel disoriented at times. Depression is a symptom that can apply to both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism conditions.

(Posted by Paul Favors at http://www.ehow.com/about_5063602_effects-thyroid-problems.html)