Small, but powerful. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located on the neck, above the collar bone. It controls many of the most important functions of the body and produces hormones that affect breathing, heart rate, digestion and body temperature. Next, we answer six key questions about this vital gland for people's metabolism.
What thyroid problems are there?
When we talk about disorders in the functioning of the thyroid gland, the best known is hyperthyroidism (when the thyroid gland produces more thyroid hormone than the body needs). And hypothyroidism (when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone). But they are not the only ones. In addition, there are other problems such as goiter, which is the enlarged thyroid; Also, thyroid cancer and nodules: thyroid glands. And shoot: swelling of the thyroid.
What are the key symptoms of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism?
"The most characteristic symptoms of hyperthyroidism are the lack of muscle strength, insomnia, nervousness, tremors, palpitations, eye changes (bofebros) and goiter, among others," says Ana María Orlandi, head of the thyroid sector of the Endocrinology Unit of Álvarez Hospital and president of the Argentine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism.
And it highlights the most characteristic symptoms of hypothyroidism: fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, severe constipation, drowsiness, generalized edema, dry skin and fragile fingernails, among others. "In any case, the symptoms may be rare in subclinical or severe diseases when the consultation or diagnosis is delayed and the disorder progresses," he says.
What is subclinical thyroid disease?
Subclinical hyperthyroidism is an image of mild or monosyntomic hyperthyroidism, characterized by low levels of TSH and normal peripheral hormones (T4 and T3). On the other hand, subclinical hypothyroidism is a mild degree of thyroid insufficiency, which occurs with elevated TSH and with normal peripheral hormones.
And how is it treated?
The treatment of these conditions depends on the patient's age, the biological moment, the relationship with pregnancy, fertility research and more conditions. "Given these factors, the treatment can be postponed, beginning gradually or in the same way that the thyroid diseases," says Orlandi.
These diseases affect women more than men. Is that so? Why
"Although a cause-effect association is not clearly demonstrated, it is believed that, given that women have 2 X chromosomes, they would receive a double genetic dose of susceptibility. This would seem to be clearer for the development of autoimmune thyrotic diseases," explains the expert .
And how do these diseases influence women's health?
In alterations in the menstrual cycle. Thyroid helps to control the menstrual cycle. Depending on the amount of thyroid hormone, the periods may be very rare, prolonged or irregular. Thyroid disease can also cause the menstrual period to disappear for several months or even more.
Does it also cause difficulty to conceive?
Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can make pregnancy difficult. This is because problems with the thyroid hormone can alter the balance of hormones responsible for ovulation. Several studies found a higher incidence of clinical or subclinical thyroid insufficiency in infertile women, compared to women's control. But there is no data to date that can demonstrate the real incidence of infertility in these women.
Are there problems during pregnancy?
The malignancy of the thyroid during pregnancy can cause health problems in both the mother and the baby. For example, pregnancies in hypothyroid women are associated with more abortions and / or preterm births, according to the expert. That is why it is important to have controls to discard or detect problems before getting pregnant and during pregnancy.
What is postpartum thyroiditis?
It consists of thyroid inflammation after delivery and would affect 10 percent of women. People with postpartum thyroiditis often feel exhausted and in a bad mood. It is important to know that this condition usually goes unnoticed because the symptoms are very similar to postpartum depression. It could also be a premature menopause. If the immune system causes thyroid disease, other glands, such as the ovaries, may be compromised. This can cause premature menopause (the cycle ends before the age of 40).
LA NACIÓN (Argentina) – GDA