By Neelam Jain Last Updated:
There are hundreds of diseases and problems in our body that are unexplained and can affect our physical and mental well-being. But when ignored and not treated; in future, they might lead to complications and greater problems. The thyroid is one such big concern that a lot of women in India are suffering from but do not realise its complications. They must know that thyroid health is very important as it controls almost every functioning in your body.
And sooner you treat it, the better. Once the disorder reaches the alarming stage, the risk factor automatically increases. Initially, the issues are subtle and not that harmful but at a higher stage, it becomes unsafe. So, if you think that something is not functioning well and taking a toll on your well-being there are chances, your little gland in the neck needs a check. Let’s know about the things that are essential to understanding the thyroid, the symptoms, disorder and the risk factors associated.
Well, the word thyroid is generally taken as an illness. Whereas, the truth is that thyroid is a tiny thumb-sized organ and is already there in every human body. It is a butterfly-shaped gland between your collarbone and voice box that secretes hormones and regulates almost every course of action happening in the body.
When the thyroid gland pumps out abnormally low or more hormones compared to what body requires, it is said to be a thyroid disorder. Females are up to eight times as likely to experience this disorder as compared to men. Also, the risk of thyroid-related diseases increases with age. Women above the age group of 50 are at a greater risk to face this. At an early stage, thyroid disorder might not pose many problems. But if left untreated, the disorder might lead to complications.
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When the thyroid gland is underactive and releases lesser hormones than it should, it is called hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is related to low stamina, a drop in the heart rate, low metabolism, frequent shivers, cold, weakness etc.
On the other hand, hyperthyroidism is exactly the opposite. When there is surplus/excess of thyroid hormones being released by the gland, it is called hyperthyroidism. It starts accelerating the bodily functions.
The child of a mother whose thyroid is untreated may have great risks of birth defects. Issues like mental problems, physical health, development issues etc might appear in a newborn baby. Healthy thyroid hormones are essential for brain development; the lack of which may lead to complications in a child’s mind and body.
In order to meet the demand of sufficient hormones, thyroid overexerts itself which leads to an enlarged thyroid gland. In the process of releasing more hormones, it undergoes excessive stimulation which bulges up the gland. This condition is known as goitre.
A lot of women have to face pregnancy-related issues as the disturbed thyroid affects ovulation and hence the chances of conceiving.
When it is hypothyroidism or the abnormally low release of hormones, the signs and ailments are as follows:
Ailments and symptoms in case of hyperthyroidism are completely different from what we see in hypothyroidism.
Even before the first signs of thyroid problems in your body and much before going for a screening test or to a doctor; there is one simple activity you can do at home to know about your thyroid. This is a simple home-test recommended by doctors. Take a mirror to have a look at the lower end of your neck, just above the collarbone and below the voice box. Tilt your head a little back so that you can still view the mirror. Take a sip of water and watch that area carefully for protrusions. If you notice a big lump, there is a need to worry. There are chances of an enlarged thyroid and you might need a treatment.
It’s extremely important to have a check on your thyroid health. It is advisable to investigate the problem and not delay the procedure if you are suffering from the above mentioned bothersome symptoms. Kindly get a test done and if the test results are less or more than the normal range, you certainly need a medical help to heal it.