The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland, the weight of which is 25-30 g – a dense formation located directly under the larynx, consisting of two lobules connected by an isthmus.
The thyroid gland produces hormones – protein substances containing iodine. The main thyroid hormones are tetraiodothyronine (thyroxine) and triiodothyronine. For the normal synthesis of these hormones a daily intake of 200-300 mcg of iodine with food is necessary.
The functioning of the heart and nervous system, intelligence, growth and mental health, as well as the ability to become pregnant, bear a child and breastfeed, are largely dependent on the state of the thyroid gland. Thyroid hormones regulate the metabolism in the body, and therefore control weight, help you be energetic, have good skin and hair.
At an early age, the development of the child’s intelligence depends on the function of the thyroid gland. With insufficient production of thyroid hormones, dementia develops – cretinism.
Thyroid diseases are very common in the world, women are more susceptible to pathology. Often, subclinical forms of the disease develop, which do not manifest themselves for a long time.
The main diseases of the thyroid gland:
Among all diseases of the thyroid gland, there are diseases with a violation of the production of hormones and without them – with a normal function of the thyroid gland.
The reason for visiting a doctor can be various conditions, accompanied by enlargement of the thyroid gland: goiter. With goiter, the thyroid gland can reach a huge size, it is felt when swallowing, it can be visible to the eye in the form of a tumor on the neck. In goiter, thyroid hormone production can be normal, low, or high. Depending on the functional activity of the gland, the symptoms also change.
The second common reason for visiting a doctor is neck pain, which often accompanies acute thyroiditis, an inflammatory disease of the thyroid gland. Inflammatory diseases also include subacute and chronic thyroiditis.
With autoimmune thyroiditis, the body produces autoantibodies that damage thyroid tissue, causing inflammatory changes in it and disruption of hormone production.
The most common thyroid disorder is nodular goiter, when changes do not affect the entire organ, but only part of it. Thyroid function is not always affected. Multiple formation of nodes, thyroid cysts, as well as malignant tumors can be observed.
Read more: Functional Disorders
work of the thyroid gland
Thyroid gland: functional disorders
Disturbances in the production of hormones lead to two conditions:
Hypothyroidism – Decreased thyroid function. Develops slowly, for a long time, can be very hidden, fuzzy. There is hearing loss, weakness, drowsiness, overweight, swelling, slow pulse. Concentration may decrease. The person becomes irritable, depressed, gets tired quickly. There are headache attacks, memory impairment, decreased intelligence, decreased hemoglobin levels in the blood, frequent colds, in women – menstrual irregularities.
Hyperthyroidism – Increased thyroid function. It is manifested by reverse changes: fever, nervousness, fussiness, trembling fingers, sweating, weight loss with good appetite, increased heart rate, heart failure, indigestion, and so on.
Diagnosis and treatment
Diagnosis of thyroid pathology is carried out by an endocrinologist. Often, changes in the state of health and appearance of the patient leave no doubt, and the diagnosis can be made only by clinical manifestations.
To confirm the diagnosis, as well as in complex cases of hidden pathology of the thyroid gland, a comprehensive examination is carried out, including laboratory and instrumental diagnostics: analysis of hormonal status, general urine and blood tests, X-ray and ultrasound examination of the thyroid gland, scintigraphy, radionuclide scanning, targeted biopsy of nodes and cysts thyroid gland and more.
For the treatment of thyroid diseases, the method of hormonal therapy or surgical treatment is most often used.