4 Common Conditions That Can Affect the Thyroid Gland

As an important endocrine system organ, your thyroid gland controls growth, heartbeat, metabolism, and various activities. Your thyroid glands can be impaired, leading to an imbalance of thyroid hormones. For that reason, it is advisable to seek Bastrop preventive health services. Preventive health can protect you against diseases affecting the thyroid gland or help avoid complications.

Thyroid conditions or disorders usually result from the secretion of excess or inadequate thyroid hormones. If the thyroid produces surplus hormones, that condition is called hyperthyroidism. Excess hormones from the thyroid gland can accelerate your body’s activities, including heartbeat.

But, if your thyroid gland secretes inadequate hormones, the condition is medically called hypothyroidism. Unlike hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism decelerates your body’s processes. Hypothyroidism can be triggered or stimulated due to an inflamed thyroid or iodine scarcity in your body. Below are the common conditions that can affect your thyroid.

1. Hashimoto’s disease

With this illness, your immune system mistakenly destroys the thyroid gland. Your body produces antibodies that it releases to attack the cells of your thyroid gland, thinking that they threaten your health.

As your immune system harms the cells of the thyroid gland, this organ in your neck will get inflamed. Usually, it can reach a point when the expanding thyroid prevents it from producing sufficient hormones. Synthetic hormonal medications can help treat or control Hashimoto’s disease.

2. Grave’s disease

Sometimes called toxic diffuse goiter, Grave’s disease is also an autoimmune condition, like Hashimoto’s disease.

However, with Grave’s disease, the immune system harming healthy, normal tissues makes your thyroid gland hyperactive. Since the thyroid gland is triggered to work excessively, there is extra production of thyroid hormones.

When you delay the treatment of Grave’s disease, you may have eye or skin complications. For example, excessive thyroid hormones can cause the tissues of your eyes to swell. The swelling of eye tissues can lead to bulging eyeballs.

3. Abnormal thyroid gland expansion

If your thyroid gland is abnormally enlarged, the condition is medically referred to as goiter. The formed lump is visible in the lower front of your neck. Other common symptoms of goiter include persistent coughing, a raspy voice, or a wheezing sound when breathing.

Goiter is primarily caused by a lack of adequate iodine in your body. Iodine is a critical mineral your thyroid gland needs to secrete its hormones. Abnormal thyroid enlargement can also emanate from hormonal imbalance, thyroid nodules, or autoimmune disorders.

4. Overgrowth in tissues or cells of the thyroid gland

Nodules can appear in your thyroid glands. Your thyroid can have a growth or several growths. According to The American Thyroid Association, thyroid nodules affect about 5% of women and 1% of men. The growths can be solid or contain fluids.

Thyroid nodules can make it difficult for you to breathe or swallow. Severe thyroid gland growth can weaken muscles, increase irritability, and make it harder to tolerate heat. The good thing about thyroid gland growths is that they are usually non-cancerous.

Contact Pompeyo Chavez, MD, today to schedule an appointment with a preventive health specialist and learn how to avoid thyroid imbalance.

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