Thyroid is a severe and complex disease, and to cover all the scenarios, stages, and symptoms it is way tough as cracking the rock. However, some aspects you must get aware of is covered in this article. A disease, or a problem which is sudden and trapping large population especially women makes it miserable. Thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland which is situated in the front of the neck just below the Adam’s apple.
The gland wraps around the trachea( windpipe) and the shape is similar to a butterfly formed by two wings(lobes)and attached by a middle part. Thyroid hormones are produced from iodine which is extracted from iodine rich foods. These hormones helps in enhancing body”s metabolism and immunity and prepares it for better functionalities. The two most important thyroid hormones are thyroxine(T3) and triiodothyronine(T4) which represents 99.9% and 0.1% of thyroid hormones.
These hormones are released from thyroid gland and once they are released, a large amount of T4 is converted to T3, which is an active hormone that affects the metabolism of the body.
Thyroid is a disorder in the body that can arise any time. Some gets affected of it due to the hereditary issue. Again there are many individuals who gets its over the course of time. There are specific factors that can affect women with thyroid. It has been observed that the thyroid affects most of the women during their pregnancy period. According to the researchers, the thyroid gland is one of such organs in the body of every individual which keep the body in perfect harmony. Changes in hormonal level or physical conditions can give rise to variety of complications.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that is situated on the front of the neck. This gland influences most of the metabolic processes in the body. Abnormal production of thyroid hormones leads to thyroid problems. There are two types of thyroid problems— Hyperthyroidism is a condition when there is too much production of thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism is a condition when there is insufficient production of thyroid hormones.
What causes thyroid problems?
All types of hyperthyroidism (a condition when too much thyroid hormones are produced) results into several conditions.
- Graves” disease: This is an autoimmune condition and is one the commonest cause of overactive thyroid gland.
- Toxic adenomas: Nodules develop in the thyroid gland and begin to secrete thyroid hormones upsetting the body’s chemical balance.
- Subacute thyroiditis: Due to the inflammation of the thyroid gland excess hormones are leaked, which results into temporary hyperthyroidism. It may persist for few weeks to months. Hypothyroidism, is the case when there is underproduction of thyroid hormones. It leads to lower energy levels in the body since it is not able to meet with essential thyroid hormone requirement.
- Removal of the thyroid gland: The thyroid may be surgically removed or destroyed.
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: In this autoimmune disorder, body’s own immune system attacks thyroid tissue resulting into reduce thyroid hormones.
- Hashimoto’s thyroid is a disease where the thyroid tissues are attacked by the body. It is an autoimmune disorder in which the tissues ultimately die and stop producing thyroid hormones.
- In cases where the thyroid gland is removed by surgery or is chemically destroyed, there is sufficient decrease of the production of thyroid hormones.
- Exposure to certain medicines taken for sinus or cold or heart which contain excess amount of iodide can lead to the development of hypothyroidism. There are some dyes taken before x-rays can give an exposure to iodide causing insufficient production of thyroid hormones.
- Iodine insufficiency from food also causes hypothyroidism. Certain foods like cow’s milk and bread contain less iodine. Most of the sea salts used in homes is also not iodized. The salt used in processed foods is also not iodized.
Symptoms of thyroid in women
It’s estimated that as many as 59 million Americans possess through this problem and most of them are unaware about it.
It is something which an individual with thyroid disorder will feel. Individuals will feel really irritating when there is a lot of heat around. They cannot withstand the heat of sunlight.
People with thyroid or hypothyroidism will be really very nervous. They will think several times before deciding something.
This is probably another physical condition people will go through when they have problem with thyroid or hypothyroidism. This can make an individual inactive with tiredness and non enthusiasm.
Neck discomfort / enlargement
A feeling of a swelling in the neck, discomfort with neckties, a hoarse voice or a visibly thyroid gland can be a sign of ”goitre”, an enlarged thyroid gland that could be the major sign of thyroid disease.
Menstrual irregularities and fertility problems
More painful, heavy flow periods are associated with hypothyroidism and lighter, infrequent, periods are associated with hyperthyroidism. Fertility can also be related with undiagnosed thyroid problem.
Severe or long term constipation is also associated with hypothyroidism, while diarrhoea or irritable bowel syndrome(IBS) is associated with hyperthyroidism.
Hair and skin are more vulnerable to thyroid effects. Hair loss is the major sign of thyroid. In hypothyroidism, hair becomes brittle, coarse and dry, breaks off easily. Skin can also become, dry, thick and scaly. It is also observed that there is an unusual loss of hair in the outer eyebrow.
Muscle and joint pains
Weakness in the arms and legs, aches in the joints and muscles, and a tendency to develop carpal tunnel in the arms/hands, can also be the symptoms of undiagnosed thyroid problems.
The thyroid hormone plays an important part in the development of the baby during pregnancy. The health of the mother and that of the baby can be protected with certain medicines in women suffering from thyroid problems
- When the size of the thyroid gland is normal it cannot be felt. One of the thyroid disorders is a harmless goitre or swelling on the neck.
- Hypothyroidism or under production of thyroid hormone is the most common thyroid problem faced by women.
- This causes the increase of weight and slowing down of the metabolism process in the women’s body.
- She feels tired , depressed and sluggish with less hormone production
- Low production of this hormone can lead to irregular periods.
- Other symptoms include coarse and dry hair, dry and scaly skin, confusion in the mind, hair loss, muscle cramps, slow heart rate, constipation and excessive weight gain.
- Most women face iodine deficiency especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding. As we know iodine is the most important thing required for the development of the brain of the unborn baby during pregnancy. Iodine deficiency leads to the damage or underdevelopment of the brain during pregnancy.
- This problem does not occur in all women during pregnancy, but is very common in women suffering from autoimmune diseases. It also repeats in consequent pregnancy.
- In rare and severe cases the disease takes a severe form called myxedema with symptoms of constant low temperature, dull mental activity, loss of consciousness and congestive heart failure.
- Hyperthyroidism increases the production of thyroid hormones and speed up the metabolism process in the body. This can lead to increased heart rate and palpitation, high blood pressure and increased sweating
- Overproduction of hormones causes a feeling of restlessness, sleeplessness, with puffiness around the eyes and sensitivity to light.
- There is weight loss even when the person eats much more than his requirements.
- There can also be symptoms of diarrhoea or frequency of bowel movements.
- Bone loss or osteoporosis is also a symptom of hyperthyroidism.
The situation when the thyroid may not be able to produce usual amount of thyroid hormone can be defined as Hypothyroidism. One of the important functions of thyroid gland is regulation of energy of the body. But once the hypothyroidism takes place normal functioning will be disrupted. The most basic of eradicating the thyroid problem will be replacing the thyroid needs. You can now get variety of foods in the market that contains good amount of iodine. You must consume salt with iodine in it so that deficiency of hormone can be eradicated. There are also replacement doses of iodine hormones that helps an individual to treat the problem of hypothyroidism. But, it is also important to go ahead with blood test periodically if you are taking the thyroid medicine.
Reasons for thyroid problems in women
From childhood to teen and again from pregnancy to prenatal period, women continuously go through variety of changes in their body hormones.
The gland produces triiodothyronine and thyroxine hormones in your body. This is normally found to create a control over the body. This will maintain normal physiological body function. But, women have this problem of hypothyroidism as sometimes due to the changes in body function, the production of hormone become too less. Thus the normal function of the body gets slowing down. During the pregnancy period of the lady, some of the body function becomes too much over driven. The changes in hormones take place when the girl first gets into the periodic cycle. They get into the adolescent age and go through variety of changes within their body. This will hurt your health if the changes take place in a vigorous way. Even when the thyroid produces too much of hormone, the systems in body becomes over driven.