Thyroid Problems Can Affect the Entire Body
In the past few decades, doctors have discovered an incredible variety of symptoms and negative health effects that can be attributed to one small body part located in the human neck. This body part is known as the thyroid, an important gland that is significant in controlling healthy metabolic functions. Thyroid problems can cause any number of debilitating symptoms, and this is why it is so important for people to understand the function of the thyroid and possible issues.
What Does the Thyroid Do?
The thyroid is a moth-shaped gland directly below the Adam’s Apple in the centre of the neck, which generates chemicals called hormones that influence all of the energy-usage processes in the body. If the thyroid releases too much of a particular chemical or not enough of these chemicals, metabolic processes that affect weight, energy levels, sleep, skin and hair quality, muscle health, joint health, and other important bodily functions can be disrupted.
Types of Thyroid Problems
Thyroid problems can range from simple infections that cause swelling of the thyroid to the growth of malignant tumours that can eventually kill the thyroid and even lead to death. Mild glandular swelling, referred to as goitre, usually requires no treatment. Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, the overproduction and underproduction of hormones by the thyroid, can be treated with hormone therapy. If caught early enough, thyroid tumours may be able to be removed or treated with cancer treatment options.
Self-Examination May Help with Diagnosis
Many physicians advise against regular self-examination because patients are likely to misinterpret their findings and imagine problems that are far worse than the reality. However, with important glands like the thyroid or areas of the body where cancer is likely to occur, regular self-examination is advocated by physicians. It is possible to identify a problem with thyroid by using a self-examining neck palpating technique. Regularly palpating the muscles of the neck with gentle, firm pressure can help people identify swollen glands or masses within the neck that may indicate a serious thyroid problem. The quicker a problem is identified, the more likely it is that the issue can be rectified effectively.
The thyroid is an important gland within the human body. Because it is so important to healthy metabolic function, a poorly functioning thyroid can cause serious health issues. Thyroid problems can be difficult to diagnose, so if you suspect a thyroid issue, it’s important to discuss the symptoms and suspicions with a doctor as soon as possible.
If you have questions or concerns about thyroid problems or symptoms contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a thyroid surgeon.