Each year, millions of adults and children experience thyroid problems. These problems may range from minor to severe. Some people who have thyroid problems do not even know it. That’s because they do not know the symptoms of thyroid problems, as well as what thyroid problems exist.
It’s important to know what these symptoms are so that, if you have them, you can seek immediate medical treatment before it is too late.
Hyperthyroidism: The Basics
Otherwise known as an overactive thyroid, hyperthyroidism is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much the essential thyroid hormone. As a result, people with hyperthyroidism have very high levels of the thyroid hormone in the blood. This is an unhealthy balance and causes several symptoms.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
A person who is experiencing hyperthyroidism may have an increased appetite, yet lose weight at the same time. They may also have an increased heart rate, much higher than normal blood pressure, nauseousness and excessive perspiration.
Another common symptom is that of frequent bowel movements and diarrhea. Less commonly, people with hyperthyroidism may have trembling or numb hands, and may develop a goiter. Women may also have shorter or lighter periods due to hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism is not easily treated by any one course of treatment. Often, doctors may have to try several treatments to find one that works for their specific patient. Radioactive Iodine is the most often prescribed course of treatment, and involves the person suffering from hyperthyroidism to drink a dose of it. This destroys part of the thyroid gland but does not harm other parts of the body. Other treatments include surgery and antithyroid medicine.
Hypothyroidism: The Basics
Hypothyroidism is basically the opposite of hyperthyroidism. With hypothyroidism, there is too little thyroid hormone in the blood stream. The thyroid gland under performs, and so very little thyroid hormone is produced. This, like hyperthyroidism, causes an imbalance in the body.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Since you are lacking enough of the thyroid hormone, you’ll be experiencing depression, lethargy, and a reduced heart rate. You’ll also be more sensitive to cold, may have heavier menstrual periods, tingling or numbness in the hands, and possibly dry skin and hair. Constipation and the development of a goiter also often occur because of hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is best treated using thyroid hormone medicine. However, some doctors and patients attempt herbal forms of treatment. These haven’t been proven scientifically, so their effectiveness is shaky at best.
Subacute Thyroidism: The Basics
Subacute thyroiditis typically occurs as the result of a viral infection. The infection makes the thyroid gland become swollen and painful. If you get sick with a cold or other more serious infection, there is a good chance that it can spread to the thyroid gland and cause inflammation.
Symptoms of Subacute Thyroiditis
If you are suffering from subacute thyroiditis, the most obvious symptom you’ll have is pain in the throat. This occurs because your thyroid gland, which is located in your next, is very swollen. This pain may be mild to severe, depending on how bad the subacute thyroiditis is.
Other common symptoms include a neck that feels painful to touch, and pain while turning your head. A good indication that you have subacute thyroiditis if they symptoms come after you’ve been sick with the cold or flu.
Since subacute thyroiditis is a viral infection, it’s not typically treated medically. It usually just runs its course and is out of the affected person’s system within a couple of weeks.