Types of Thyroid Disorders
Author: Matthew Gallo
January 10, 2023
Your Thyroid is an endocrine gland located in the neck just above the collarbone. The Thyroid produces hormones which control your body’s metabolism, as well as play a key role in regulating blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and the reaction of the body to other hormones.
Problems with the thyroid can include a variety of disorders that can result in the gland producing too much or too little thyroid hormone. Thyroid disorder symptoms depend on whether the thyroid is under- or over-producing, and can affect energy levels, mood, metabolism, bone health, pregnancy, and much more.
Types of Thyroid Disorders
Also called underactive thyroid, this occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, resulting in a slowed metabolism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism may not be noticeable in its early stages but tend to develop over several years. These symptoms may include fatigue, weight gain, tiredness, sensitivity to cold, unusual menstrual cycles, slowed heart rate, and much more. Hypothyroidism can also occur in infants, children, and teens, and may lead to poor growth if left untreated.
Also called overactive thyroid, this occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. This condition speeds up the body’s metabolism, resulting in many symptoms such as weight loss, hand tremors, and rapid or irregular heartbeat.
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body makes antibodies that attack the cells in the thyroid. Hashimoto’s disease progresses slowly, and symptoms may go unnoticed for several years, but it often results in an underactive thyroid. Anyone can develop Hashimoto’s disease, but it is most common in middle-aged women.
Thyroid nodules and adenomas are small growths that are very common in adults. Most are noncancerous, but some can be cancerous. There are several types of thyroid nodules, some of which may affect the hormone production and can lead to hypo- or hyperthyroidism. Other nodules do not cause symptoms until they are large enough to surrounding tissues and organs or become visible on the neck.
This most commonly occurs in those that have had radiation of the head, neck, or chest area, but can also occur in those without any known risk factors. The four main types of thyroid cancer include papillary thyroid cancer, medullary thyroid cancer, follicular thyroid cancer, and anaplastic thyroid cancer. Most thyroid cancer can be treated successfully.
Thyroid Disorders in Women
Women’s thyroid disease can affect their hormone balance and cause problems in puberty, menstruation, fertility, pregnancy and the postpartum period.
Hypothyroidism and Pregnancy
It is important for anyone trying for pregnancy to address potential hypothyroidism beforehand. Thyroid hormone passes from mother to fetus, and plays an important role in growth and brain development. Hypothyroidism during pregnancy can be treated safely using thyroid hormone medication.
Postpartum thyroiditis is inflammation of the thyroid gland that occurs after giving birth and can cause hyper- or hypothyroidism.
Measure Your Thyroid Hormone Levels
If you think that you may be experiencing symptoms of a thyroid disorder, it is important that you speak with your doctor to rule out any severe conditions. For those looking to understand their body a little better, Inspire Wellness@Home’s Thyroid Test measures levels for the 3 main thyroid hormones as well as thyroid antibodies. The test may help clarify whether symptoms you’ve been experiencing are being caused by too much or too little thyroid hormone in the body.
Visit Inspire Wellness@Home’s product page to discover more at-home health and wellness tests. For a limited time, use code “INSPIREJAN23” for 10% off in January 2023.
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