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The thyroid gland

The thyroid gland is a small gland located at the front of the neck, below the larynx. Produces hormones that control the rate of metabolism. Irregularities in the thyroid gland can slow or still excessively speed up your metabolism.

thyroid gland

When the level of thyroid hormones rapidly drops or goes down, you can feel a variety of symptoms.

Diseases of the thyroid gland are common, especially in women. If at the time recognized that the health of your thyroid gland threatened reduces the risk of various complications.

Sudden weight loss or weight gain

Unexpected weight loss or weight gain is the most common sign of a malfunction of the thyroid gland. Weight gain can be a sign of insufficient levels of thyroid hormone, a condition called hypothyroidism. By contrast the hyperthyroidism, a condition where there is an excessive release of thyroid hormone and rapid weight loss.

Remember that hypothyroidism is more common than hyperthyroidism.

Swelling of the neck

Swelling of the neck is a visible sign that indicates irregularities in the thyroid gland. The swelling may be due to hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Sometimes the swelling can cause cancer of the thyroid gland or glands that develop within the thyroid gland. It may be a sign of something entirely different, unrelated to the thyroid gland, so it is important to consult a doctor.

Changes in the work of the heart

Thyroid hormones affect the operation of almost every organ in the body. They can cause irregularities in heart rhythm. Hypothyroidism can cause a slow heart rate, while hyperthyroidism can cause extremely rapid heartbeat. Irregularities in the thyroid gland can cause high blood pressure.

Mood swings

Problems with the work of the thyroid gland caused by sudden changes in mood and energy levels. Hypothyroidism can cause you to feel tired, sleepy and even depressed. Hyperthyroidism causes anxiety, sleep problems and irritability.

Hair loss

Significant hair loss can be a sign that there is a malfunction of the thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause hair loss. In most cases, the hair again begins to grow properly after a malfunction of the thyroid gland begin to heal.

You are cold or too hot

Irregularities in the thyroid gland reduces the body’s ability to maintain a normal temperature. People suffering from hypothyroidism often claim that they are cold, while those suffering from hyperthyroidism says it is hot and showing signs of excessive sweating and aversion to summer and heat.

Other symptoms of hypothyroidism:

  • dry skin and brittle nails
  • feeling of numbness and annealing in the hands
  • constipation
  • irregularities in the menstrual cycle

Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism:

  • vision problems
  • diarrhea
  • irregular menstruation
  • stiffness and muscle tension

Who should be tested?

All persons older than 35 years should be tested every 5 years. People who are at greater risk of developing problems in the thyroid gland should be tested more frequently. Hypothyroidism usually affects women older than 60 years, while hyperthyroidism often equally by men and women older than 60 years.

Risks

If left untreated, hypothyroidism can also cause high cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. In serious cases, very low levels of thyroid hormone can cause loss of consciousness and decrease in body temperature to possible fatal consequences. If hyperthyroidism is not treated, it can cause serious heart disease, fragile and brittle bones.

Photo by COM SALUD Agencia CC BY

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