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Last Updated: Sep 04, 2019
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Thyroid Disorders: Early Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Procedure, Cost And Side Effects

Is a Thyroid Problem Serious? What are the Early Symptoms of Thyroid? What is the Main Cause of Thyroid Problems? What are the Precautions for Thyroid Patients? What Tests Detect Thyroid Problems? What is the Best Treatment for Thyroid? How is the Treatment of Thyroid is Done? Are There Any Side Effects? How Long Does it Take to Recover? What is the Price of the Treatment in India? Are the Results of the Treatment Permanent? Can Thyroid be Cured Naturally?

Is a Thyroid Problem Serious?

Hypothyroidism if left untreated may cause complications like heart problems, nerve injury, and infertility and in severe cases even death.

  • Cardiovascular problems: Untreated hypothyroidism may cause slow heart rates, skipped beats and weakened pulse. Volume of blood pumped by the heart with each beat may be decreased by 30 to 50 percent.
  • Renal complications: Renal function may be lowered due to low blood supply to the kidneys. This may cause less ability to excrete water and absorb sodium. This may result in unusually low blood levels of sodium.
  • Nervous system complications: Like muscle weakness and nerve injury. These can lead to:
    • Breathing difficulties
    • Hoarseness
    • Trouble in walking
    • Trouble in talking
    • Pain in hands and feet
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Infertility: In men, hypothyroidism is linked to erectile dysfunction, abnormal sperm shape and decreased libido. It also causes low levels of testosterone. In women with hypothyroidism, menstrual problems like irregular cycles and variation in flow are common and in those with autoimmune thyroid disorders, infertility is more likely.
  • Pregnancy complications: like miscarriage, pre-eclampsia or preterm birth. Doses may need to be adjusted during pregnancy.

Uncontrolled Hyperthyroidism - may lead to the following complications:

  • Arrhythmias
  • Cardiac dilation and Congestive heart failure
  • Sudden cardiac arrest
  • Hypertension
  • Risk of developing Osteoporosis

What are the Early Symptoms of Thyroid?

  • Risk of developing Osteoporosis
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Slow movement and thoughts
  • Muscle aches and weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dry and scaly skin
  • Brittle nails and hair
  • Loss of libido
  • Pain, numbness and tingling sensations in the hands and fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Irregular and/or heavy periods
  • Pain, numbness and tingling sensations in the hands and fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Irregular and/or heavy periods
  • Tingling sensations
  • Nervousness and heavy palpation sounds
  • Fast heart rates
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Concentration problems
  • Increase in bowel movements
  • Increased sweating
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Depression
  • Weakening of bones and muscle aches

What is the Main Cause of Thyroid Problems?

  • Weakening of bones and muscle aches
  • Iodine Deficiency in Hypothyroidism and Excessive iodine consumption in Hyperthyroidism.
  • Autoimmune Diseases, in which your immune system attacks your own body ,leading either to hyperthyroidism {caused by Grave’s Disease} or hypothyroidism{caused by Hashimoto’s Disease}.
  • Inflammation of the thyroid caused by a virus or bacteria (which may or may not cause pain)
  • Nodules or non-cancerous Lumps, inside the thyroid
  • Cancerous tumours of the thyroid gland
  • Certain medical treatments including radiation therapy, thyroid surgery, and some medicines.
  • Some genetic disorders and thyroid hormone resistance.

What are the Precautions for Thyroid Patients?

Occasionally, pregnancy can cause thyroid problems to start or get worse. If left untreated, this can cause problems for mother and baby, including miscarriage, premature birth or stillbirth.

  • Diet: Healthy and nutritious diet plays an important role in normal hormonal flow. Immune response is triggered when intestinal lining is inflamed. Taking a lot of fruits, vegetables, salmon and extra virgin olive oil can help ensure perfect thyroid levels.
  • Avoid processed foods: Transat, high fructose, refined sugar and MSG cannot be ruled out in processed foods. Even vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels, watercress and cruciferous vegetables can stimulate autoimmune diseases. Raw consumption of these can interfere with synthesis of thyroid hormones and so these should be well cooked.
  • Supplements: Defiance of iodine is one of the primary reasons for thyroid issues. Supplements maybe taken and in many countries it is consumed in the form of iodised table salt and dairy foods. On the other hand, over consumption of iodine may lead to hyperthyroidism. Thyroid health can be maintained by consumption of Vitamin D or Selenium.
  • Stay off from environmental toxins: Waterproof clothing, on-stick cookware, carpets, flame-resistant and antibacterial soaps that have triclosan may interfere with endocrines.

What Tests Detect Thyroid Problems?

  • Blood Tests : When you are hypothyroid, you have a higher TSH levels because your body is trying to tell your thyroid to make more hormones. The reverse is true with hyperthyroidism: TSH levels are below normal and thyroid hormone levels are high. One uncommon type of thyroid Cancer can be diagnosed through a blood test that measures the calcitonin levels (a hormone that’s needed to build bones).
  • Iodine Uptake Tests : It tracks the amount of iodide absorbed by the thyroid gland which is used to identify the cause of hyperthyroidism. It is a key ingredient of thyroid hormone and we get it from the foods we eat. First, a device is placed over your neck to measure the background radioactivity. Then, you swallow a small amount of radioactive iodide in a liquid or as a capsule. After a time, usually 4-6 hours and at most 24 hours, another measurement is taken to see how much of the radioactive iodide has gathered in your thyroid. When the gland has a lot of iodide, the doctor may do a radioactive iodide uptake scan. The doctor will use a special film to make a picture that shows the exact location of radioactive iodide in your thyroid. Iodide collecting in nodules suggests that they're responsible for the extra hormone. If the scan shows that the iodide is spread throughout the gland, the whole thyroid is involved.
  • Nodules : That appear suddenly are typically fluid-filled sacs. Doctor can check them with an ultrasound exam. Depending on a nodule size, how it looks on ultrasound and your chances of getting thyroid cancer, your doctor may do an aspiration or biopsy. Further tests will show if the nodule has the potential to become cancerous. You should get regular check-ups when you have a nodule on your thyroid gland.

What is the Best Treatment for Thyroid?

  • Subacute Thyroiditis Treatment - Although this can bring on temporary hyperthyroidism, it doesn’t require medical treatment. Acetaminophen or Aspirin maybe taken for any pain from the inflamed thyroid. In some cases, anti-inflammatory drugs like prednisolone or dexamethasone may be prescribed for a short time.
  • Hyperthyroidism Treatment - Thyroid production maybe slowed or stopped completely with:
  • Radioactive iodide treatment - You'll swallow a tablet or liquid with enough radioactive iodide to damage the cells of your thyroid gland so they can't make hormones. Sometimes, more than one treatment may be required and at times, hypothyroidism may develop as a result of this procedure.
  • Anti-thyroid medications - Once started, your symptoms should begin to disappear in about 6-8 weeks but you'll need to take them for at least a year. Then your doctor will check to see if you can stop and you'll need regular check-ups once you are off the medicine to make sure hormone levels stay balanced.
  • Surgery - Usually not done unless you're pregnant or can have a large goitre or cancerous nodule.
  • Hypothyroidism treatment - You'll have to take thyroid hormone replacement for the rest of your life. Usually man-made forms of thyroid hormone are prescribed such as, levothyroxine. The dosages are given as per the levels of the Thyroid hormone.
  • Thyroid cancer treatment - First way to treat this is by either removing the cancerous tissue or whole thyroid gland, a surgical procedure known as a Thyroidectomy. If the cancer has spread, any other affected tissue, such as the lymph glands in the neck, will be removed, too.

  • Diet and nutrition - Protein, calcium, magnesium and iodine help your thyroid work. Make sure you're getting plenty of all the B vitamins, vitamin A and vitamin Selenium consumption can cause hypothyroidism.

Read More: Know All About Thyroid Surgery Procedure

How is the Treatment of Thyroid is Done?

  • A naturopath may cause homeopathic mixtures, herbs, preparations based on traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture to remove blocks to your ‘’life force energy’. They may help with the stress associated with thyroid disease.
  • Chiropractors use spinal manipulation to treat symptoms of thyroid disorders by easing muscle tension and improving blood circulation.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Sometimes, an underlying condition can mimic some of the tell-tale signs of thyroid disorders. If you have a health condition that could be causing symptoms, then treating your thyroid will not help.

How Long Does it Take to Recover?

With thyroid disorders, monitoring and regulating your diet becomes extremely important. Your doctor will chart out the different food groups you should focus on consuming and the ones that you should stay away from.

What is the Price of the Treatment in India?

The price of chemotherapy can range from Rs. 57,000 – Rs. 60,000 per session.

Are the Results of the Treatment Permanent?

Depending on the thyroid disorder that you have, the results can be permanent.

Can Thyroid be Cured Naturally?

Natural therapy can be only a supportive therapy and can be used to make the living and treatment effective. It cannot thus be used to cure completely the various Thyroid disorders. Some of the ways to treat thyroid disorders naturally are as follows:

  • A naturopath may cause homeopathic mixtures, herbs, preparations based on traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture to remove blocks to your ‘’life force energy’. They may help with the stress associated with thyroid disease.
  • Chiropractors use spinal manipulation to treat symptoms of thyroid disorders by easing muscle tension and improving blood circulation.
  • Diet and Nutrition: Protein, calcium, magnesium and iodide help your thyroid work. Make sure you're getting plenty of all the B vitamins, vitamin A and vitamin C. Taking Selenium can cause hypothyroidism.
  • Avoid using: Pseudoephedrine: can cause nervousness, insomnia, headache and high blood pressure. Alkaloids, including caffeine, morphine and quinine can raise blood pressure and heart rate.

Popular Questions & Answers

I'm phanindra kumar. Age: 43. I have hypothyroid condition for the past 7 years. For the last 2-3 years I have gained so much weight and i'm now 120 kg. Three years back I used to be 74 kgs. I'm taking 125 mcg thyronorm. I tested yesterday and tsh levels are around 32.50. Please suggest shall I increase the dose and how much and how can I stop gaining weight and become normal.

MBBS, CCEBDM, Diploma in Diabetology, Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, Cetificate Course In Thyroid Disorders Management (CCMTD)
Endocrinologist, Dharwad
Hello, thanks for the query. I have seen the details given. The main reason for weight gain appears to be uncontrolled hypothyroidism. Ideally in a well controlled patient t3 & t4 are in normal range plus tsh is around 3 to 4 mu/l. It is clear tha...

I was detected with tsh 6 during second pregnancy which however decreased so I left the 25 mg but after 1 year the tsh came 12 to which after consultation I am on 37.5 mg but for the last 2 times the tsh is still 5.91 and 6.1 respectively do I need to change my dose I am still on 37.5 thyronorm.

MBBS, CCEBDM, Diploma in Diabetology, Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, Cetificate Course In Thyroid Disorders Management (CCMTD)
Endocrinologist, Dharwad
lybrate-user ji, thanks for the query. I have seen the details mentioned. Usually when one is on adequate dosage of levothyroxine (based on t4, tsh, age, weight & height), tsh is maintained around 3 to 4 mu/l, at which all the symptoms of hypothyr...
1 person found this helpful

I am 31 year old female, 67 weight 5 feet height. My tsh level is 0.04. With doctor prescription I am taking 75 mcg thyronorm tablet. But now a days I am feeling dizziness and weakness. Is it due to high dose of thyronorm.

MBBS, MD Internal Medicine, PhD (Endocrinology), FRCP(Edin)
Endocrinologist, Vellore
Dear lybrate-user, the tsh value of 0.04 is low, suggesting that we should slightly reduce the dose of thyronorm. I suggest that you reduce the dose to one and a half of 50 ug tab (dose 62. 5ug) daily on empty stomach and recheck free t4 and tsh a...

I checked my tsh on oct 30. My tsh is 0.01 micro iu/ml. I took 75 mcg eltroxin from nov 2 till today. But I don't have any improvement in hair fall and weight loss. Thank you.

B. Sc., BAMS
Ayurvedic Doctor, Madurai
Dear Ms. lybrate-user hypothyroidism along with other hormonal issues can cause hair fall and weightloss. Though the details are less as given by you, as an ayurveda physician, we have to ask many questions and point out the reason for your proble...

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