Thyroid imbalance is a very common health condition in our country. It is more common in women than in men and can present as unexplained weight gain or weight loss, excessive tiredness, weakness, intolerance to heat or cold. Here are some basics about the Thyroid that you should know:
1. What Is Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the base of your neck. Your thyroid is the mastermind of your body. It has two sides called lobes which are located on either side of your windpipe and both these lobes are connected by a strip of thyroid tissue called isthmus. It controls all your body functions by sending messages to every organ in the body.
2. What Does Thyroid Gland Do?
The gland uses iodine from food to make two hormones: Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4). The pituitary gland in the brain produces a hormone called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) which regulates the level of T3 and T4. The thyroid hormones regulate the body’s metabolic rate as well as heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, and bone maintenance.
3. What Are The Symptoms Of Thyroid Imbalance?
-Imbalance of the thyroid hormone can cause Hyperthyroidism( excess of thyroid hormone) or Hypothyroidism ( insufficient thyroid hormone)
-Hyperthyroidism can cause symptoms like nervousness, anxiety, irritability, sweating, hand trembling, menstrual irregularities.
-Hypothyroidism on the other hand can cause fatigue and tiredness, sensitivity to cold temperature, weight gain, dry skin, muscle pain, constipation.
4. How Is A Thyroid Imbalance Detected?
A Thyroid disorder can be diagnosed at an early stage by some simple blood tests. The tests in this category are:
-Testing for thyroid hormones including Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Free T4 and Free T3
-A High level of T3 and T4 and low level of TSH usually indicates Hyperthyroidism.
-Low levels of T3 and T4 and increased levels of TSH can be associated with hypothyroidism.
-If your tests show thyroid imbalance, then your doctor can ask you to do more comprehensive tests like Anti-Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies, Reverse T3 and Thyroid uptake scans.
5 . How Is Thyroid Imbalance Treated?
–Hyperthyroidism is treated by taking medicines called anti-thyroid medications or with radioactive iodine or surgery.
-Hypothyroidism is treated by taking simple pills that contain the thyroid hormone.
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So, if you think you are experiencing any of these symptoms for some time now, you should get your thyroid hormones tested. You can get your complete thyroid profile done at affordable prices here