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Thyroid gland

thyroid gland

Thyroid gland is one of the endocrine organs present in front of the neck. It is a butterfly shaped organ and has two side lobes, connected by a bridge (isthmus) in the middle.The thyroid secretes hormones namely Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4) and it is controlled by the pituitary gland which secretes the thyroid stimulating hormone and which in turn stimulates the thyroid gland. Thyroid hormones act throughout the body, influencing metabolism, growth & development, and body temperature. 

Thyroid problems can be hereditary as there are some enzymes which play a role in the synthesis of the thyroid hormone so those enzymes deficiencies can be hereditary and it can be localised to a particular locality where there is iodine deficiency and malignancies can also be seen in families.

Swelling in front of the neck, it can either be a nodule or a huge swelling is called as Goiter. Goiter is more known to occur in the coastal regions where the intake of Iodine is low.


Diseases associated with Thyroid are as below:

  1. Hypothyroidism :

It is when the production of thyroid hormones is low and below normal i.e. T3 & T4 will be low but TSH will be high because the pituitary gland tries to stimulate more so TSH will be high.

The major causes of Hypothyroidism are:

  1. Iodine deficiency
  2. Removal of the thyroid gland
  3. Auto immune disorders (such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis)
  4. Radiation therapy done to cure Hyperthyroidism may lead to Hypothyroidism
  5. Side effects of the medicines taken to treat heart problems

The common symptoms are:

  1. Excessive sleepiness’
  2. Lethargy
  3. Intolerance to cold
  4. Weight gain
  5. Menstrual disturbances in case of females
  6. Loss of hair
  7. Rough skin
  8. Facial edema

Based on the reports, if it is sub clinical then the treatment is started with lower dose of thyroid which needs to be taken on empty stomach daily. Regular monitoring once in 3 or 6 months is required.

  1. Hyperthyroidism:

It is when the production of thyroid hormones are high which can be caused due to the Graves’ disease which is an auto immune cause in which antibodies are produced which stimulate the thyroid to secrete excessive quantities of thyroid hormones.

The major causes of Hyperthyroidism are:

  1. Graves’ disease
  2. Excess Iodine

The common symptoms are:

  1. Palpitations
  2. Patient will have tremors i.e. shaking of hands
  3. Excessive sweating
  4. Loss of weight
  5. Menstrual disturbances in case of females
  6. Anxiety

Investigations done include:

  • Blood tests – T3, T4, TSH levels
  • FNAC of thyroid
  • USG of neck

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