What are thyroid disorders?
Thyroid disorders are conditions that cause malfunctioning of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located in the front part of the neck and releases hormones that regulate your metabolism and the way you use energy. Thyroid disorders can cause the thyroid gland to become underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism).
Thyroid Problems Spotlight
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone to properly regulate metabolism. This results in a slowing of the body’s chemical processes and metabolism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism typically include:
Fatigue and lack of energy
Thyroid disorders that commonly cause hypothyroidism include Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and viral infections of the thyroid gland.
Hypothyroidism is also called myxedema, low thyroid, underactive thyroid, or slow thyroid. Hypothyroidism is more common in women than in men. It is also more common in people older than 50.
There is no cure for hypothyroidism. However, with diagnosis and treatment, low levels of thyroid hormone can be replaced to normal levels in the body. This normalizes your metabolism, reverses your symptoms, and minimizes the risk of complications, such as myxedema coma.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone to properly regulate metabolism. This results in a quickening or stimulation of the body’s chemical processes and metabolism. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism typically include:
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Thyroid disorders that commonly cause hyperthyroidism include thyroid nodules and Graves’ disease. Hyperthyroidism is also more common in women than in men.
Prompt diagnosis and treatment of hyperthyroidism can result in a good prognosis and possibly a cure in some cases. With regular medical care and compliance with treatment, many people with the disease have an active, normal life.
In some cases, untreated thyroid disorders can lead to serious, potentially life-threatening symptoms and complications, such as birth defects, cardiac arrhythmias, heart failure, or myxedema coma. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have chest pain, palpitations, confusion, change in consciousness, shortness of breath, or instances of passing out.
What are the symptoms of thyroid disorders?
Symptoms of thyroid disorders vary greatly depending on the specific disorder and if it results in hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland).... Read more about thyroid disorders symptoms
What causes thyroid disorders?
Thyroid disorders are often caused by an autoimmune thyroid disease, such as Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Autoimmune thyroid diseases occur when the body’s immune system mistakes healthy thyroid tissue as potentially dangerous to the body and attacks it, causing abnormal thyroid hormone production.... Read more about thyroid disorders causes