thyroid treatment

Overactive thyroid & Underactive thyroid – symptoms and causes

If your body is a car, the thyroid gland is its accelerator which adjusts and control its speed. This small gland located near the Adam's Apple of the neck releases hormones like triiodothyronine -T3 and thyroxine-T4. These hormones regulate the metabolism of the body and control heartbeat, body temperature, protein production etc. The thyroid gland is regulated by TSH- the thyroid stimulating hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. Any change in TSH affects the production of T3 and T4 which in turn cause metabolic disorders. These cause thyroid diseases like overactive thyroid also called hyperthyroidism or underactive thyroid also called hypothyroidism. Medical treatment is a must for such thyroid disorders and must be swiftly administered before it results in further complications.

Autoimmune disorders of the Thyroid with phases of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

Autoimmune thyroid disorders are diseases where the body produces antibodies that destroy parts of the thyroid gland. These diseases have a phase of hyperthyroidism followed by hypothyroidism. Some of the autoimmune thyroid diseases are

  • Painless or Silent thyroiditis which may resolve in a year with proper medical treatment.
  • Postpartum Thyroiditis which affects women after pregnancy and can be cured within a year with proper medical treatment.
  • Subacute thyroiditis or Quervain's thyroiditis which is due to a virus and very painful.

Underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism - Causes

Underactive thyroid or Hypothyroidism is characterized by weight gain, fatigue, muscle weakness, slow heart rate, thinning hair, depression, poor memory and in the case of women, heavy periods. Hypothyroidism is caused by Thyroiditis which is an inflammation of the thyroid gland. are different types of thyroiditis like

  • Acute or Suppurative thyroiditis caused by a bacteria and very painful.
  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an autoimmune genetic disease that often affects women more than men.
  • Drug induced thyroiditis caused by medication like lithium, amiodarone, cytokines and interferons used to treat hyperthyroidism.
  • Radiation-induced thyroiditis caused by radioactive iodine used to treat hyperthyroidism.

Overactive thyroid or Hyperthyroidism - Causes

Overactive thyroid or Hyperthyroidism is characterized by high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, jaundice, muscle wasting, mood swings, restlessness, fever and even coma. It is caused by

  • Grave's disease which is an autoimmune disorder secreting excess thyroxine.
  • Toxic adenomas which are nodules formed in the thyroid gland causing excess thyroxine secretion.
  • Pituitary gland malfunctions secreting too much TSH.

Thyroid cancer symptoms

  • Lump or swelling in the neck.
  • Pain in the neck radiating to the ears.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Difficulty in swallowing or breathing.
  • A constant cough without the cold.

Thyroid cancer treatment

Treatment of thyroid cancer has become very easy and effective with many options available like these

1. Thyroid Surgery

Thyroid Surgery is the main treatment for thyroid cancer. It involves removal of a cancerous tumour along with the surrounding malignant tissue. Also called resection, thyroid surgery may be

  • Total thyroidectomy which involves removal of the thyroid gland entirely.
  • Near-total thyroidectomy where only a part of the thyroid gland is removed.
  • Lobectomy where only the cancerous thyroid lobe is removed.

Different techniques are employed during Thyroid surgery like standard, endoscopic or robotic methods of thyroidectomy. Patients undergoing Thyroid Surgery may require Hormone Treatment using levothyroxine to quell the remaining cancer cells.

2. Radioactive Iodine Therapy

Radioactive Iodine (RAI or I-131) locates and destroys all the cancerous cells in the thyroid. This is because the thyroid gland absorbs all the iodine. Thus any cancerous cells left undetected by surgery too can be destroyed totally by RAI.

3. Targeted Therapy

This targets the specific tissues, genes and proteins causing cancer and destroys them preventing further growth.

4. Chemotherapy

Here chemicals are administered through IV to arrest, reduce and avoid cancer growth.Thyroid cancer treatment and medical treatment for thyroid disorders are now available in India at very reasonable rates using the expertise of professional doctors and hospitals specializing in thyroid care. Seek the help of Health Consultants to direct you to the right hospital for thyroid treatment..