The thyroid is an endocrine organ sitting in the lower neck hugging the wind pipe. The thyroid gland produces, stores and excretes thyroid hormones.
Functions of the thyroid
The thyroid hormones influence carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism. The thyroid is particularly important when you plan a family. A normal thyroid function during pregnancy facilitates the normal development of the baby and reduces risks for mothers.
The most common cause for hypothyroidism is Hashimoto thyroiditis. Hashimoto is an autoimmune disease, where the body produces antibodies against the thyroid gland. Other causes for hypothyroidism include iodine, selenium or iron deficiencies as well as suboptimal substitution of thyroid medication following surgery or radio iodine therapy.
Hypothyroid symptoms include fatigue, poor concentration, weight gain, low mood etc.
With hyperthyroidism everything in the body is accelerated. The most common causes for hyperthyroidism are Graves disease, an autoimmune disorder, thyroid autonomy most commonly due to an autonomic nodule and acute inflammation of the thyroid gland in the early stages. Another very common cause of hyperthyroidism is overdosing of thyroid medication or high exposure to iodine.
Hyperthyroid symptoms include palpitations, sweating, weight loss, anxiety, hair loss etc.
Thyroid nodules are extremely common and usually don`t cause any problems. They can only be diagnosed with thyroid ultrasound. Nodules can cause problems if they become too big and cause pressure locally, when they produce too many thyroid hormones and when they become malignant. The ultrasound helps to distinguish between a benign nodule and cancer.