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It manufactures hormones responsible for regulating the metabolism of the body.

Thyroid Malfunction The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck and secretes important endocrine hormones for the body. It manufactures hormones responsible for regulating the metabolism of the body. Under certain conditions, thyroid function gets affected resulting in afflictions involving the endocrine system. Many disorders and diseases arise from the malfunctioning of the thyroid gland. These disorders occur when the thyroid produces too many hormones or too fewer hormones affecting various functions of the body. [Image will be Uploaded Soon] We will look into these disorders and their symptoms in detail in this chapter. Common Thyroid Disorders The major thyroid abnormalities and diseases are-

Hypothyroidism When the thyroid gland produces an insufficient amount of hormone required for the body it gives rise to Hypothyroidism. It may arise from the problems in the thyroid gland, pituitary gland or the hypothalamus. Any of these malfunctions lead to low levels of hormone circulating in the body and impacting normal functions of the body. Causes of Hypothyroidism Hashimoto’s Disease- It is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. It is also known as an autoimmune disorder or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. An autoimmune disorder is the one which occurs when the immune system produces antibodies which attack the body’s tissues. So, when these antibodies attack the thyroid gland, it impacts the thyroid gland’s ability to produce sufficient levels of hormones. The exact cause of this kind of trigger is unknown but it may occur due to environmental factors.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism Although hypothyroidism symptoms are barely noticeable in the beginning, as the body continues to slow on metabolism due to fewer thyroid hormones, more evident and obvious symptoms develop. These may include the following-

Synthetic hormone tablets or hormone therapy is suggested to treat hypothyroidism in most cases. Hyperthyroidism [Image will be Uploaded Soon] Hyperthyroidism also pertains to the overactive thyroid gland. And it results from excessive production of thyroid hormone- thyroxine. It is less common as compared to hypothyroidism. Elevated levels of thyroid hormone accelerate the body’s metabolism causing irregular weight loss, irregular heartbeat, etc.  Causes of Hyperthyroidism Grave’s Disease- It is another autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland and in response thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine to fight back. Grave’s disease is hereditary and runs in the family. [Image will be Uploaded Soon] Other causes of hyperthyroidism include swollen thyroid gland or outgrowths on the thyroid gland called thyroid nodules. Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism Like hypothyroidism, initially, the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism are also unnoticeable. But, mostly, one feels the following symptoms and may seek a doctor’s help-

Hyperthyroidism if remained untreated may lead to heart problems, bone problems, and a serious condition called thyroid storm which is a life-threatening condition. During a thyroid storm, individuals show dangerously high levels of heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.

Goitre is a condition in which an abnormal increase in the size of thyroid gland takes place. Goitre primarily occurs due to deficiency of iodine. Also, hyperthyroidism triggers goitre. Various substances interfere with the production of thyroid hormone-like thiocyanates, nitrates and perchlorates, some drugs may contain these as ingredients. Certain foods also contain thiocyanates like cabbage, cauliflower, etc. These substances are goitrogenic. [Image will be Uploaded Soon] There are Two Types of Goiter- Euthyroid Goiter-  In Euthyroid Goiter hormone levels are within the lower range of the normal value Simple Endemic Goiter-  Occurs due to iodine deficiency in the diet. Geographical regions also play a role in this. For example- regions away from the sea coast where the water and soil are low in iodine content have more cases of simple endemic goitre.

It is an autoimmune disease which occurs when the immune system produces antibodies which attack the body’s tissues. So, when these antibodies attack the thyroid gland, it impacts the thyroid gland’s ability to produce sufficient levels of hormones.

It is another autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland and in response the thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine to fight.

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