There are many types of ailment that can affect the thyroid. They do however, share some symptoms and warning signs.
Thyroid Disease Signs
The early signs include continued weight loss despite eating regularly. In addition there is the feeling of tiredness and breath shortness. The person also feels vulnerable to heat and sunlight. Other major indicators include rapid heart palpitations.
The bowel movement becomes more frequent. The muscles weaken and it’s usually accompanied by shaking. Anxiety and stress are often reported. Patients have trouble sleeping and menstrual flow is altered. Those with Graves’ disease will have a goiter. The eyes may bulge. Those with thyroid storm develop fever and are very restless.
In extreme cases, there are frequent mood swings or even psychosis. In a few instances, the patient falls into a coma.
Thyroid Disease Diagnosis
During the physical examination, the doctor will check the eyes, the face and other body parts for any outward signs. The family medical history might be checked as the condition seems to be genetic. Hyperthyroidism is also marked by high fever so this will be assessed too.
A series of blood tests is done to verify the presence of thyroid hormones. Radioimmunoassay is another test used to check for signs of the disease. A radioisotope dye may be used to mark the inflammation point.
Other possible tests include ultrasonogrpahy, CT scans and MRI. Radioactive iodine is used to assess the activity level of the gland.
Thyroid Disease Treatment
The treatment depends on the ailment and patient. Age and severity of the condition determines the type of medication to be given. The goal of the drugs is the same though: to slow down the production of thyroid hormones. The dosage administered is usually lower among pregnant women.
A special iodine capsule is usually taken for a few weeks. This helps in lowering thyroid hormone production. It also decreases its size and regulates blood levels. In some cases, a single large dose may be given. This however, is only given to those no longer at the reproductive age.
In severe cases, surgery may be required. The operation is called thyroidectomy which takes out the thyroid. This is often performed if the ailment keeps repeating. It is also used in cases where the drugs don’t work.
Thyroid Disease Prevention and Cause
The cause of these diseases is still unknown. But as stated, it seems to involve genetics. The role that diet plays is also unclear. However, there are some studies suggesting that taking iodized salt is a preventive measure. Whether regular exercise will help is still being debated.
That being said, the best option is to assess the family medical history. If relatives are predisposed to the ailment, monitoring of early symptoms is required. It is important that none of the signs are ignored. Once the symptoms are seen, a doctor must be consulted for verification.
The medications at the patient’s disposal are greater now than in the past. By following the procedures, eliminating thyroid disease becomes likely.
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