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How Does Thyroid Disease Affect Your Body?

Written and reviewed by
Dr.C M Batra 87% (13ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DNB - Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, DCH
Endocrinologist, Delhi  •  42years experience
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I’m Dr. C.M.Batra. I’m consultant senior consultant endocrinologist at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital New Delhi.

I will be talking to you today about thyroid disorders. What is thyroid disorders? The thyroid gland is in the center of the neck. It is a middle line structure and it is over line the windpipe or the trachea, on the esophagus i.e. the food pipe. And its function is to produce hormones i.e. T3 and T4. And due to this whore production of hormones or underproduction of hormones i.e. the hormones being less or hormones being more, they are disorders.

The thyroid gland itself can become a large without any hormonal disorder and thus produce problems also. So let me talk to you first about disorders caused by enlargement of thyroid gland itself. The thyroid gland can become very big and compress the windpipe i.e. the trachea and the food pipe i.e. the esophagus and thereby it causing problems. The problems will be shortness of breath, difficulty in eating and this will be increased at night, because when the patient lies down it increases.

And the treatment is very simple just you have to remove the thyroid gland which is obstructing or which is causing the problems. The thyroid gland can function more than it should be or less than it should. And if it adds its function more it is called thyrotoxicosis i.e. it produces more hormone than it should. In that case the person will have weight loss, will feel very uncomfortable, will have palpitation, will have tremors, will be having bulging eyes, might have a thyroid gland enlargement which we called Goitre.

This will how do you diagnose a person with thyrotoxicosis or having excess of thyroid hormone, simple blood test is a trick. The blood test is named free T3 T4 and TSH. And the thyroid scan and radioactive iodine uptake is another test. If you have these two tests you can make the diagnosis of the thyrotoxicosis. Once you made the diagnosis what you do? You start treating it with tablets, they are called neomercazole or methimazole and the other options available are radioiodine and you can even operate the enlarged thyroid and get rid of the excess thyroid hormones.

In person thyroid gland functions less is called hypothyroidism in which the person becomes slow sluggish easily fatigue exhausted, has slow pulse rate, skin becomes dry, the thyroid gland can become enlarge i.e. the goiter can happen and how do you make a diagnosis? A simple blood test T3 will be or T4 will be low TSH will be high. The treatment is simple i.e. the thyroxin tablet can be given and that within three to four weeks the patient becomes alright. But these tablets have to continue throughout life in most cases.

The next disorder of thyroid is thyroiditis in which it is a simple inflammation or swelling of the thyroid gland that causes pain in the thyroid region or the neck region that can cause thyrotoxicosis or excess of thyroid hormone or decreased in thyroid hormones called hypothyroidism and the treatment is usually simple. You don’t have to do anything except just give analgesics and some drugs and mostly the thyroid disease disappear itself. If you are having problems of this type with the thyroid gland you are most welcome to visit me at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital or my clinic, Sarita Vihar.

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