Thyroid: A Complete Guide of What and Why

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The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland located on either side of the wind-pipe, which releases different hormones and controls one’s metabolism. It is vital to keep the hormones in balance to have healthy wellbeing. Here are a few questions that will help you understand more about thyroid.

Thyroid FAQs

1. What Hormones does the Thyroid Gland Secrete?

The thyroid gland releases 3 major hormones, which are, T3, T4, and calcitonin. T4 is an inactive form of T3.  Thyroxin (T3 & T4) is responsible for the maintenance of body metabolism and growth.

2. What are the Defects of the Thyroid Gland?

The defects of the thyroid gland can be classified as:

  • Physical defects: Physical defects include goiter and thyroid nodules. Goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland. It happens slowly and leads to problems like difficulty in swallowing, speaking and a constant feeling of tightness in the neck. Thyroid nodules are nodules that develop inside the thyroid gland. Mostly, they are benign and non-cancerous. However, if the doctor finds anything suspicious, a biopsy is advised. 
  • Hormonal defects: Over secretion or under secretion of thyroid gland hormones can cause hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism respectively. Other diseases are Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s disease. Change in calcitonin level leads to bone-related problems.

3. How can I Manage Thyroid Gland Diseases?

If you have been diagnosed with thyroid gland disease or have it running in your family, you should follow these suggestions:

  • Take a diet rich in minerals, vitamins, folic acid, iron, and iodine.
  • Quit smoking and alcohol.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get your thyroxine and calcitonin levels checked regularly.

4. What are the Typical Symptoms Associated with Thyroid Gland Diseases?

Since the diseases associated with the thyroid gland are all of different nature, there is no one common symptom. However, you should get your thyroid gland checked if you face any of the following problems:

  • Feeling of pins and needles in fingers
  • Tingling of palms and sole
  • Dizziness
  • Recurrent muscular spasm
  • Insomnia
  • Excess hair growth on the face
  • Water retention on the face, palms, and neck

5. Does the Thyroid Gland and PCOS have Any Connection?

Yes, PCOS and hypothyroidism do have a link. They both occur simultaneously. Decreased thyroxine levels lead to polycystic ovaries leading to PCOS. Insulin resistance and increased weight can be a factor for both. However, active research is going to establish a concrete relation between the two.

6. How are the Diseases Associated with the Thyroid Gland Diagnosed?

Blood test establishes the thyroxine and calcitonin levels in the blood. If you have nodules and the doctors find it suspicious, you may be asked for a biopsy.

7. Does Thyroid Gland Function and Pregnancy have a Connection?

Yes, a healthy thyroid gland activity is necessary for a healthy pregnancy. Decreased thyroid gland activity can lead to PCOS which may cause infertility. Also, thyroid gland hormones are responsible for the nervous system development of the baby.

8. When does a Doctor Suggest Thyroid Removal?

If you suffer from thyroid gland cancer, the gland may need to be removed.

9. Does Thyroid Removal Affect the Voice?

Not significantly. However, some hoarseness may be there.

10. How can I Manage My Calcium Levels After Thyroid Removal?

You should take iodine-rich food. Also, it is essential to be regular with your medications.

Conclusion

The thyroid gland plays a significant role in the health of an individual. Many factors can lead to a defect in the thyroid gland. It is extremely important to manage any thyroid gland diseases to lead a healthy life.

1 COMMENT

  1. Doctor has removed my thyroid gland and i was under medication taking thyroxin, after 1 year test reveals that I am normal. What to do now. Should i be continuing my thyroid medicine ? please advise.

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