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Thyroid disease is a general term for a medical condition that keeps your thyroid from making the right amount of hormones. Your thyroid typically makes hormones that keep your body functioning normally. When the thyroid makes too much thyroid hormone, your body uses energy too quickly. This is called hyperthyroidism.
Thyroid disease are disease that affect the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck. The thyroid has important roles to regulate numerous metabolic processes throughout the body. Different types of thyroid disorders affect either its structure or function.
The thyroid gland is located below the Adam’s apple wrapped around the trachea (windpipe). A thin area of tissue in the gland’s middle, known as the isthmus, joins the two thyroid lobes on each side. The thyroid uses iodine to produce vital hormones. Thyroxine, also known as T4, is the primary hormone produced by the gland. After delivery via the bloodstream to the body’s tissues, a small portion of the T4 released from the gland is converted to triiodothyronine (T3), which is the most active hormone.
When the thyroid is dysfunctional, it can cause an array of health issues, including weight gain, sexual dysfunction, depression, heart disease, and extreme fatigue. Symptoms of thyroid disease depend on whether too much or too little thyroid hormone is being produced. Symptoms of hypothyroidism (low hormone levels) include fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, and feeling cold. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism (high hormone levels) include weight loss, rapid heart beat, and insomnia. Symptoms of other forms of thyroid disease can include a swollen neck, among others.
Thyroid issues can have a major impact on your overall health, as it’s a big part of your endocrine system responsible for producing hormones. While a doctor may need to intervene and administer the right medication if your thyroid is overactive or underactive, there are other ways you can help it too (alongside the medications). These self-help methods are techniques that may benefit not only your thyroid, but also your overall physical and mental well-being.