One part of the body that has an important role is the thyroid gland. This gland is a producer and storage of hormones that regulate various functions of our body, including the heartbeat.
The thyroid gland that produces thyroid hormone is located at the bottom of the neck. In addition to heart rate, the presence of thyroid hormones is also important in helping to regulate blood pressure, body temperature, and the process of converting food into energy. The presence of the thyroid gland is very important, because the hormones it produces affect the function of each cell in the body.
When the hormones from the thyroid gland are inadequate or even excessive, humans can experience abnormal growth and metabolism that is not normal. That is the reason thyroid hormones are very closely related to the growth and development of children.
Recognizing Diseases That Lurk the Thyroid Gland
Some disorders that often occur in the thyroid gland (thyroid disease), including:
One common cause of too little thyroid hormone is Hashimoto’s disease. This disease is an autoimmune disease, where there are abnormalities in the immune system so that the immune system attacks the body itself. In Hashimoto’s disease, the body’s immune system will slowly destroy the thyroid gland, so that its ability to produce hormones is also impaired. It is not easy to detect this disease because of unclear symptoms, especially if it is still in a mild stage. Some of the symptoms of this disease are fatigue, depression, constipation, weight gain, dry skin, and dry and thinning hair. Other symptoms that may appear are pale face, heavy and irregular periods, cold, and mumps.
If Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, then Grave’s disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces excessive thyroid hormone. Grave disease occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland. In other words, this disease is also a type of autoimmune disorder. Grave disease is a hereditary condition and can occur to anyone, especially women aged 20-30 years. Some risk factors for this disease, including smoking, pregnancy, and stress. Symptoms of Grave’s disease when hyperthyroidism arises are restlessness, irritability, fatigue, and tremors in the hands, excessive sweating, faster heartbeat, difficulty sleeping, and diarrhea. Apart from enlargement of the thyroid gland, vision problems can also occur.
Goitre or goitre (goiter) is an enlarged condition of the thyroid gland, but not due to cancer. One cause of enlargement of the thyroid gland is iodine deficiency. A person is more at risk of having an enlarged thyroid gland, if their family has experienced it, used certain drugs, been exposed to radiation exposure, or was pregnant. When the enlargement is still mild, there may not be any symptoms felt. However, if the enlargement is large enough, symptoms can occur shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, coughing, or hoarseness.
Thyroid nodules occur if there are lumps in the thyroid gland. The cause is not yet known with certainty, but it might be triggered due to iodine deficiency and Hashimoto’s disease. Nodules can be solid or fluid-filled and most are benign. In rare cases, these nodules can also develop into cancer. Most thyroid nodules do not cause any symptoms. But if it grows large enough, then the symptoms that appear can be shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing or pain. In certain cases, thyroid nodules can also cause increased hormone production or hyperthyroidism. If this happens, then the symptoms that appear are faster pulse, increased appetite, tremors, weight loss, and nervousness.
However, if the appearance of a nodule is caused by Hashimoto’s disease, the patient may experience symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, not being able to withstand cold weather, hair loss, or dry skin.
The function of the thyroid gland can affect almost all body mechanisms, so handling must be done carefully. Consult a doctor to determine the type of disorder and get the right treatment.