The main diseases of the thyroid gland

All processes in our body are interconnected, and violations in the operation of one system can adversely affect the performance of their functions by another. So, almost all metabolic processes are directly affected by the endocrine system. One of its main parts is the thyroid gland – a small in size and weight organ located in the front of the neck and consisting of two lobes connected by an isthmus. Various pathological processes developing in it are extremely dangerous for the health and even life of the patient. That is why it is very important to know for what reasons thyroid diseases appear , how to recognize them correctly and when to consult a doctor. 

Causes of Thyroid Disease

The main reason for the development of thyroid disease is iodine deficiency. The main sources of such a trace mineral indispensable for health are food, water and air. The insufficient presence of iodine in our daily diet or living in regions with severe iodine deficiency is steadily leading to the development of thyroid diseases. Iodine can conditionally be called the main material for the “structure” of thyroid hormones. After going through complex conversion processes, iodine atoms form thyroxine and triiodothyronine. With a minimum intake of iodine in the body, accordingly, an insufficient amount of thyroid hormones is produced. Other causes of thyroid disease include:

  • prolonged radiation or toxic effects on the body;
  • genetic predisposition to diseases of the thyroid gland;  
  • disorders in the hypothalamic-pituitary system;
  • prolonged use of drugs that aggressively affect the thyroid gland;
  • injuries resulting from surgical interventions on the main organ of the endocrine system.

In addition, autoimmune processes in which the body’s immune system produces antibodies to endocrine organ cells can lead to the development of thyroid diseases.

Classification of thyroid disease

It is almost impossible to divide thyroid diseases into specific subgroups. However, conditionally all diseases of the main organ of the endocrine system are divided into pathologies in which there is a deficiency or excess of thyroid hormones, as well as diseases in which the level of T3 and T4 remains normal. Depending on how the thyroid gland functions, the symptoms of the disease can be different. So, if with a lack of thyroid hormones the majority of metabolic processes in the body slow down, then with their excess, on the contrary, they accelerate.

Thyroid Disease: Deficiency and Excess Hormone

Excess thyroid hormones leads to the development of hyperthyroidism. Thyroid hormones are indispensable, but excessive amounts of them poison the body. The main symptoms of this disease are causeless weight loss, sweating and a constant sensation of fever, palpitations, muscle weakness, irritability, general loss of strength, insomnia and increased anxiety. In addition, with hyperthyroidism, the development of endocrine ophthalmopathy is possible. The effectiveness of the treatment of this disease depends on its timely diagnosis.

Hypothyroidism, in contrast to hyperthyroidism (thyrotoxicosis), is a disease that develops against the background of a persistent lack of thyroid hormones. The reason for this condition can be disorders in the functioning of the organ itself, as well as pathological processes in the pituitary or hypothalamus, which are the main parts of the neuroendocrine system. Also, a decrease in the sensitivity of peripheral tissues to triiodothyronine and thyroxine leads to the development of hypothyroidism .

Thyroid goiter: symptoms of the disease

Iodine deficiency diseases of the thyroid gland are the most common. Diffuse non-toxic goiter is a vivid confirmation of this. With an insufficient amount of iodine entering the body, the thyroid gland cannot produce the necessary amount of thyroid hormones. In order to “capture” as many iodine atoms as possible, the organ increases the volume of its tissues responsible for the synthesis of thyroxine and triiodothyronine. If the symptoms of developing pathological processes are not determined in time and measures are taken to eliminate iodine deficiency, the thyroid gland will continue to increase until it compresses the neck and causes hypothyroidism.  

Another disease accompanied by an increase in organ size is diffuse toxic goiter. Otherwise, it is called a bazedovoy disease, Graves disease or Perry. The development of this thyroid disease is most often due to a hereditary predisposition or autoimmune processes. Allocate:

  1. goiter of 0 degree, in which there is a slight increase in the thyroid gland, and the symptoms of the disease cannot be determined by external examination or by palpation diagnosis;
  2. goiter of the first degree, in which the enlargement of the organ does not appear externally, but upon palpation the doctor easily determines it;
  3. a disease of the second degree of severity, in which the thyroid gland significantly increases in volume, the symptoms of which are clearly visible during external examination.

In addition to the proliferation of thyroid tissue, symptoms of diffuse toxic goiter can manifest itself in the development of buccalis (endocrine ophthalmopathy) and tachycardia. Common signs of the disease also include insomnia, irritability and increased nervousness, a general breakdown, increased sweating and fever, weight loss with good appetite, and disturbances in the digestive tract.

Each thyroid disease requires emergency treatment to prevent the development of complications and significantly increase the chances of a full recovery.

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