Archive for the ‘Thyroid’ Category

What Are the Treatments for Thyroid Problems?

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

For  thyroid disorders  stemming from the over- or under-production of thyroid hormones, both conventional and alternative treatments offer varied methods to try to restore hormone levels to their proper balance. Conventional treatments rely mainly on drugs and surgery. Alternative treatments attempt to relieve some of the discomfort associated with thyroid problems, or to improve the function of the thyroid gland through approaches ranging from  diet supplements  and herbal remedies to lifestyle changes and special exercises.

You should always receive a medical evaluation from your doctor for any thyroid disorder; most of these conditions require treatment beyond the scope of home care alone.

Treating hyperthyroidism requires suppressing the manufacture of thyroid hormone, while hypothyroidism demands  hormone replacement . Conventional medicine offers extremely effective techniques for lowering, eliminating, or supplementing hormone production. Before deciding which treatment is best for you, your doctor will make an evaluation based on your particular thyroid condition, as well as your age, general health, and medical history.

Treatments for Hyperthyroidism

Thyroid hormone production can be suppressed or halted completely in these ways:

  • Radioactive iodide treatment
  • Anti-thyroid medication
  • Surgery

If your doctor decides that radioactive treatment is best, you will be asked to swallow a tablet or liquid containing radioactive iodide in amounts large enough to damage the cells of your thyroid gland and limit or destroy their ability to produce hormones. Occasionally, more than one treatment is needed to restore normal hormone production, and many patients actually develop hypothyroidism as a result of this procedure.

Treatments for Thyroid Problems

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Your doctor can diagnose hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism by testing the levels of thyroid hormones in your blood. Doctors measure hormones secreted by the thyroid itself, as well as thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), a chemical released by the pituitary gland that triggers hormone production in the thyroid.
When you are hypothyroid, higher quantities of TSH are circulating in your blood as your body attempts to increase production of thyroid hormones. The reverse is true with hyperthyroidism, in which TSH levels are below normal and circulating thyroid-hormone levels are high.
For thyroid disorders stemming from the over- or under-production of thyroid hormones, both conventional and alternative treatments offer varied methods to restore hormone levels to their proper balance. Conventional treatments rely mainly on drugs and surgery. Alternative treatments attempt to relieve some of the discomfort associated with thyroid problems, or to improve the function of the thyroid gland through approaches ranging from diet supplements and herbal remedies to lifestyle changes and special exercises.

Thyroid Disease: Overview

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Thyroid.gif Thyroid disease occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t supply the proper amount of hormones needed by the body. If the thyroid is overactive, it releases too much thyroid hormone into the bloodstream, resulting in hyperthyroidism. (“Hyper” is from the Greek, meaning “over” or “above.”) Hyperthyroidism causes the body to use up energy more quickly than it should, and chemical activity (like metabolism) in the cells speeds up.

An underactive thyroid produces too little thyroid hormone, resulting in hypothyroidism. (“Hypo” means “under” or “below.”) When the amount of hormone released into the bloodstream is below normal, the body uses up energy more slowly, and chemical activity (metabolism) in the cells slows down.

Although they are two different conditions, in both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism the thyroid can become larger than normal. An enlarged thyroid gland is a lump that can be felt under the skin at the front of the neck. When it is large enough to see easily, it’s called a goiter. People who don’t get enough iodine in their diets also can get an enlarged thyroid, but this is rare in the United States because foods here usually supply enough iodine.

Hypothyroidism

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Hypothyroidism is most commonly a result of an autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, in which the body’s own immune cells attack and destroy the thyroid gland. Since the activity of the thyroid gland is controlled by other hormones from the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus of the brain, defects in these areas can also cause underactivity of the thyroid gland. Previous surgeries on the thyroid or a history of irradiation to the neck are other causes of hypothyroidism.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism can be mild or severe, but are often very subtle. People with a mild form of the condition may not have any symptoms at all. The most serious form of hypothyroidism is called myxedema, which can lead to coma and even death. An underactive thyroid gland affects all organs and functions within the body, leading to both physical and emotional symptoms.

Hyperthyroidism

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which there is overproduction of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland, causing the levels of thyroid hormone in the blood to be too high. People who have it are often said to have an “overactive thyroid”.

Thyroid hormone is a chemical substance produced by the thyroid gland and released into the bloodstream. It interacts with almost all body cells, causing them to increase their metabolic activity.

This abnormally high level of thyroid hormone typically speeds up the body’s metabolism. Metabolism is the chemical and physical processes that create the substances and generate the energy needed for cell function, growth, and division.

Common signs of hyperthyroidism

  • Fast heart rate
  • Trembling hands
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Warm moist skin
  • Hair loss
  • Staring gaze

Treatment Of Thyroid Disease

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Abnormalities of thyroid function (hyper or hypothyroidism) are usually treated medically. If there is insufficient production of thyroid hormone, this may be given in a form of a thyroid hormone pill taken daily. Hyperthyroidism is treated mostly by medical means, but occasionally it may require the surgical removal of the thyroid gland.

If there is a lump of the thyroid or a diffused enlargement (goiter), your doctor will propose a treatment plan based on the examination and your test results. Most thyroid “lumps” are benign. Often they may be treated with thyroid hormone, and this is called “suppression” therapy. The object of this treatment is to attempt shrinkage of the mass over time, usually three-six months. If the lump continues to grow during treatment when you are taking the medication, most doctors will recommend removal of the affected lump.

If the fine needle aspiration is reported as suspicious for or suggestive of cancer, then thyroid surgery is required.

Common Thyroid Diseases

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Given below are the most common Thyroid Diseases:

Graves’ Disease – This is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. It is a chronic disorder in which the affected person’s immune system produces antibodies that attack the thyroid, causing inflammation, damage, and the production of excessive amounts of thyroid hormone.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – This is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Like Graves’ disease, it is a chronic autoimmune condition related to the production of antibodies that target the thyroid and cause inflammation and damage. With Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, however, the body makes decreased amounts of thyroid hormone.

Thyroid Cancer—Thyroid cancer is fairly uncommon. There are four main types of thyroid cancers: papillary, follicular, anaplastic, and medullary cancer. About 60-70% of thyroid cancer cases are papillary. This type affects more women than men and is more common in younger people. About 15% of thyroid cancers are follicular, a more aggressive type of cancert hat tends to occur in older women. Anaplastic cancer, also found in older women, accounts for about 5% of thyroid cancers and tends to be both aggressive and difficult to treat. Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) develops in the C-cells that are found throughout the thyroid. MTC produces calcitonin and may be found with other endocrine cancers in a syndrome called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome. It can also be difficult to treat if it spreads beyond the thyroid.

Thyroid Nodules—A thyroid nodule is a small lump on the thyroid gland that may be solid or a fluid-filled cyst. As many as 4% of women and 1% of men will have one or more thyroid nodules; however, the overwhelming majority of these nodules are harmless. Occasionally, thyroid nodules can be cancerous and need to be treated.

Thyroiditis—Thyroiditis is an inflammation of the thyroid gland. It may be associated with either hypo- or hyperthyroidism. It may be painful, feeling like a sore throat, or painless. Thyroiditis may be due to autoimmune activity, an infection, exposure to a chemical that is toxic to the thyroid, or an unkown cause. Depending on the cause, it can be acute but transient or chronic.

Goiters—A thyroid goiter is a visible enlargement of the thyroid gland. In the past, this condition was relatively common and was due to a lack of iodine in the diet. Iodine is a necessary component of thyroid hormone production. Any of the diseases listed above can also cause goiters. Goiters may compress vital structures of the neck, including the trachea and esophagus. This compression can make it difficult to breathe and swallow.

Thyroid gland

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that lies in front of the windpipe, also known as the trachea, and just below the voice box, also called the larynx. This gland makes hormones that regulate the way the body uses energy.

The thyroid gland uses iodine from food to make two thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) Thyroid glandand triiodothyronine (T3). The thyroid gland stores these hormones and releases them into the bloodstream as they are needed.

If the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, it is called hypothyroidism. If the gland produces too many hormones, it is called hyperthyroidism. Problems with the thyroid gland can affect many body systems. Changes in weight, heartbeat, body temperature, digestion, and muscle function are common. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can be treated, usually with medication and sometimes with surgery.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

hypothyroidismThe symptoms of hypothyroidism can initially be very mild and develop slowly. It is possible to have some of these symptoms before the amount of thyroid hormone drops below normal.

This type of mild hypothyroidism is called subclinical hypothyroidism. People affected need to be monitored by their doctor, who will watch out for further symptoms.

The symptoms of hypothyroidism relate to a general “slowing down” of the body’s functions. They include:

-feeling tired and sleeping excessively
-easily feeling the cold
-dry and thickened skin
-coarse, thinning hair and eyebrows and brittle nails
-sore muscles, slow movements and weakness
-depression and problems with memory and concentration
-weight gain
-constipation
-fertility problems and increased risk of miscarriage
-heavy, irregular or prolonged menstrual periods

There may also be swelling of the thyroid gland in the neck – a goitre.

Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) & Risk factors

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. This tends to slow down the body’s functions. Symptoms include tiredness, constipation and sensitivity to the cold.

Risk factors for hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is more common in older people.
Women are more likely to be affected than men.
Autoimmune hypothyroidism is more likely in those who have other conditions resulting from an autoimmune disorder such as type 1 diabetes mellitus, vitiligo and Addison’s disease.
Some medicines can affect the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. These include lithium carbonate (for bipolar disorder) and amiodarone (for heart rhythm abnormalities).