What exactly is a ‘thyroid’?
The thyroid is a gland in the front of your neck. It’s shaped like a butterfly but don’t be fooled: it can turn out to be your worst enemy when it goes haywire! The main thyroid function is to create hormones that control the speed of your body metabolism, which helps your body use up energy. In a sense therefore, it acts as a regulator of your physical and mental state of being.
The trouble starts when your thyroid disrupts the production of thyroid hormones, which then slows down or accelerates your metabolism levels. These sudden fluctuations eventually cause complications within your body, and you end up experiencing a wide range of thyroid problems and thyroid symptoms.
One of the toughest things about living with a thyroid disorder, is the number of health complications it can cause if left ignored.
First up, watch out for these key symptoms of thyroid:
Unexplained fatigue: This could occur regularly every day leaving you depressed and raise your anxiety levels.
Feeling foggy? Weak mental focus and lack of concentration brought about by disorientation, poor memory and brain fog that affects your overall performance and productivity at work, not to mention, wrecking your social life.
Losing your crowning glory! Hair loss clearly indicates that your thyroid hormones may be imbalanced. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause hair to fall out. Once your thyroid disorder is addressed and depending on the efficiency of the treatment, it will grow back.
Shooting the weighing scales! Weight gain is a common thyroid symptom of a thyroid disorder caused by a condition called hypothyroidism which indicates low levels of thyroid hormones. However, if the thyroid produces more hormones than what the body would require, you may suddenly find yourself losing weight in a condition called hyperthyroidism.
Feeling hot, feeling cold: People suffering from thyroid disorders tend to experience sudden temperature fluctuations. Those with hypothyroidism may feel colder than usual, while those with hyperthyroidism may feel extremely hot and experience excessive sweating.
High blood pressure! Thyroid hormones can affect your heartbeat. People affected by hypothyroidism may experience thyroid symptoms like a slower heart rate while those with hyperthyroidism may experience accelerated heartbeats which can eventually increase blood pressure and heart palpitations.
Swollen neck: Sometimes lumps can grow inside the thyroid which is a result of thyroid cancer or nodules. A goiter could occur as a result of either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Psychological disorders: Thyroid diseases can have an adverse effect on your emotions and energy levels, and you could be more prone to mood swings. The contrasting levels of extreme emotional energy are visible. Hypothyroidism can make people feel tired, sluggish, and depressed while hyperthyroidism can cause anxiety, problems sleeping, restlessness, and irritability.
What are the types of thyroid?
There are various kinds of thyroid diseases that affect the thyroid functions of the thyroid gland: goitre, thyroid cancer and thyroid nodules, but the most commonly noted ones are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is generally regarded as an under-active thyroid as the thyroid gland fails to produce adequate amounts of the thyroid hormone.
In contrast, hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid gland produces large amounts of thyroid hormones. What’s significant to note is that thyroid problems such as hyper and hypothyroidism, are more commonly seen in women, then in men.
What are the causes of thyroid?
- When you start noticing a pronounced swelling behind your eyes, it usually is a sign of Graves’ disease which is a type of thyroid eye disease. It is an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland triggering high levels of thyroid hormones.
- The causes of Hyperthyroidism can be linked to thyroid nodules. These are lumps that develop inside the thyroid which produce thyroid hormones and create a noticeable goiter. The smaller lumps can be detected with ultrasound. A thyroid uptake and scan can tell if the lump is producing too much thyroid hormone.
- Hypothyroidism is caused by a couple of factors such as having less iodine in your diet, inflammation of the thyroid gland caused during pregnancy, and pituitary gland disorder that affects the production of the thyroid hormones.
- Inflammation caused by a virus or bacteria.
- Heredity and genetic disorders.
- Certain medical treatments including radiation therapy and thyroid surgery.
Get your life back with our thyroid treatment!
- A blood test always gives you an assured answer of whether you have a thyroid disorder.
- It measures the level of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), a kind of master hormone that helps in the functioning of the thyroid gland.
- Your thyroid hormone levels are also analyzed.
- If your TSH is high, it typically means that your thyroid function is too low (hypothyroid).
- If your TSH is low, then it generally means the thyroid is overactive (hyperthyroid).
- In some cases, imaging studies or a biopsy helps in evaluating a thyroid abnormality.
If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, your doctor will most likely prescribe thyroid treatments that involve thyroid hormones in the form of a pill and you may notice improvements within weeks. Long-term hypothyroidism treatments can result in more energy, lower cholesterol levels, and gradual weight loss. Those with hypothyroidism will need to take thyroid hormones for the rest of their lives.
The most common option in treating adults is radioactive iodine, which destroys the thyroid gland over 6 to 18 weeks. Once the gland is destroyed, or removed by surgery, most patients should start taking thyroid hormones in the form of pills.
Another common hyperthyroidism treatment is antithyroid medication, which aims to lower the amount of hormones produced by the thyroid. The condition may eventually go away, but many people need to remain on medication for the long term. Other drugs may be given to reduce symptoms such as rapid pulse and tremors.
How do we treat thyroid at HealthHub Clinics?
Our team of the best endocrinologists in Dubai address thyroid issues and diagnose and treat patients having a full spectrum of thyroid disorders, from routine nodules to hyperthyroidism, congenital hypothyroidism and complex conditions.
Multidisciplinary, integrated care: maximum patient outcomes
Our programme is designed to ensure that patients benefit from care that is comprehensive, seamless, coordinated and focused on their needs. Collaboration between our physicians and specialists is at the heart of this programme.
We use a team based approach to coordinate and manage every aspect of patient care, from the initial evaluation to treatment and monitoring, and consistent follow-up.
The programme’s uniquely centralized and coordinated approach ensures that we can move as swiftly and efficiently as possible to diagnose conditions and formulate the most definitive, personalized and productive treatment plan possible for all our patients.