I am Dr. Kulin R Shah, Endocrinologist. I see cases of diabetes, PCOS, thyroid, obesity, and osteoporosis. Today I will be talking on the thyroid. Just to brief about thyroid, let's start with the thyroid gland. It is a small endocrine gland which is situated in front of the neck and it produces thyroid hormone. This hormone is used by each and every cell of the body to carry out its function. There are 2 types of thyroid disorder which we encounter in day to day practice. One is hypo or slow functioning of the gland which is known as hypothyroidism and another is over-functioning which is called hyperthyroidism. So, daily routine it is mandatory to maintain balance for the thyroid gland.
Now, this kind of thyroid is increasing day by day in our daily practice. What is the reason for the increase in thyroid disorder? The first is the defective digestion encountering nowadays which leads to building up of toxins in the body. These toxins may attack the immunity or the weak gland and this is why this called the malfunction of the thyroid gland. The most common dysfunction we are seeing in the thyroid is hypothyroidism i.e. the low functioning of the thyroid gland. What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism? Basically, the low thyroid functioning causing the low metabolic activity of body leading to weight gain, delayed physical response, metal response, hair fall, and laziness. Women also have menstrual disturbances. How do we diagnose both the cases? On the basis of symptoms what we see, we ask the patient to go for a thyroid function test. So, the first test what we advise is the TSH level.
If the TSH level is slightly on the higher side or on the lower side, then probably we would ask the patient to get the part of the thyroid function test with T3 and T4 levels test. When TSH is on the higher side and T3 and 4 is on the lower side from the normal range then probably it is hypothyroidism. And when TSH is on the lower side and T3 and 4 is on the upper side then it can be hyperthyroidism. What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism? Symptoms are exactly the opposite of hypothyroidism. Unexplained weight loss, anxiety, increased heartbeat which is palpitations, loose motions, hair fall, increased heat intolerance and in female absent periods. Now, if you find these symptoms, then you can visit a doctor who will advise you a thyroid function test. This test will reveal that which thyroid problem you have. there are 2 kinds of therapies which are available. For hypothyroidism, we supplement patients with thyroxin supplements. And for hyperthyroidism, we give supplements which block the thyroid conversion.