Thyroid – Its Symptoms and causes

BY Dr. Tanvi Mayur Patel, MBBS Masters in Endocrinology Published on December 3, 2021

The thyroid gland is located beneath the skin in front of your neck. It is placed beneath Adam's apple and wraps around the trachea (which is so-called windpipe). The isthmus is a small layer of tissue in the gland's midsection that connects the two thyroid lobes on each side. The thyroid uses Iodine to manufacture essential hormones. To locate your thyroid gland, place one finger on your throat in Adam's apple area and another on the top of your breastbone (the flat bone that goes down the middle of your chest). You can find the thyroid gland somewhere in that small space between your fingers. When you swallow, it pops up and down, and you can even feel it bobbing up and down. The thyroid is primarily accountable for two hormones secreted into the bloodstream: T4 or Thyroxine and T3 or triiodothyronine. Your thyroid gland produces hormones that aid in the regulation of several vital bodily functions. When your thyroid is malfunctioning, it has a significant impact on your body. When your body produces too much thyroid hormone, the disease is known as hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when your body generates insufficient thyroid hormone. Both illnesses are considered dangerous and should be treated as soon as possible by your healthcare provider. Furthermore, in recent studies, the thyroid has been re-defined and referred to as Thyroid illness rather than simply the thyroid. Thyroid disease is a medical term that refers to a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. A multitude of situations can cause these two major illnesses. Thyroid disease can affect everyone, regardless of age, including men, women, newborns, teenagers, and the elderly. This disease is quite common, with an estimated over 20 million people in the United States alone suffering from one of the two types of thyroid disorders. Furthermore, recent research has found that a woman is five to eight times more likely than a man to be diagnosed with a thyroid issue.

Causes and Symptoms

If you have any of the following conditions, you are at an increased risk of getting thyroid disease:

  •  Consumption of drugs containing a high iodine level.
  • Medical disorders such as pernicious anaemia, type 1 diabetes, primary adrenal insufficiency, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, and Turner syndrome, among others.
  • If one has a genetic history of a medical problem such as thyroid disease.
  • Have undergone any treatments, such as a thyroidectomy or radiation.

Causes of hypothyroidism

The human body can develop two forms of thyroid conditions: hyperthyroid and hypothyroid. Each of these thyroid diseases has its own causes, which are addressed in greater detail below. 

  • Thyroiditis is a disorder in which the thyroid gland becomes inflamed. And it has been discovered that this thyroid issue might reduce the number of hormones generated by the thyroid gland in the body.
  • Thyroiditis is a disorder that occurs in 5% to 9% of women after childbirth and is referred to as Postpartum Thyroiditis. It is observed and usually defined as a transient state.
  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is a painless autoimmune disorder in which the body's cells assault and damage the thyroid. This is a hereditary disorder.
  • Iodine deficit refers to a lack of Iodine, which the thyroid uses to make hormones. Iodine deficiency is a problem that affects millions of individuals worldwide.
  • A non-functioning thyroid gland - The thyroid gland does not always function properly from birth. This affects around 1 in every 4,000 births. If the child is not treated, one may develop both physical and mental problems in the future. In the hospital, all babies are given a screening blood test to examine their thyroid function.

Causes of hyperthyroidism:

  • The condition in which the entire thyroid gland is hyperactive and produces an excessive amount of hormone. Grave's disease is a name for this type of ailment. This condition is also known as diffuse toxic goitre (enlarged thyroid gland).
  • Hyperactive thyroid nodules can characterize hyperthyroidism. A toxic autonomously functioning thyroid nodule is a single nodule, whereas a toxic multi-nodular goitre is a gland with several nodules. Nodules are a type of ailment.
  • Thyroiditis is a condition that can be painful or not at all. Thyroiditis causes the thyroid to release hormones that have been stored there. This can continue for several weeks or months.
  • Excessive Iodine is a medical disorder that occurs when there is an excess of Iodine (the mineral used to manufacture thyroid hormones) in the body and produces more thyroid hormones than the body requires. Some drugs (such as amiodarone, a cardiac medication) and cough syrups contain high levels of Iodine.

Symptoms of thyroid

If you have thyroid illness, you may suffer a range of symptoms. However, the symptoms of a thyroid disorder are frequently confused with those of other medical disorders and phases of development. It can be challenging to determine if your concerns are due to a thyroid problem or something else entirely. For the most part, the symptoms of thyroid disease can be divided into two groups — those related to having too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) and those related to having too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism).

  •  Anxiety, impatience, and nervousness are all evident.
  • Having trouble sleeping.
  • Losing weight.
  • Having an enlarged thyroid gland or a goitre.
  • Having muscle weakness and tremors.
  • Having irregular menstrual cycles or having your menstrual cycle come to a halt.
  • Feeling sensitive to heat.
  • Having vision problems or eye irritation.
  • Feeling tired is also known as fatigue.
  • Gaining weight.
  • Experiencing forgetfulness.
  • Having frequent and heavy menstrual periods.
  • Having dry and coarse hair.
  • Having a hoarse voice.
  • Cold temperatures are causing intolerance.


Thyroid disease is typically a life-long medical issue that must be regularly managed. This frequently entails taking medication daily. Your healthcare practitioner will evaluate your treatments and make changes as needed. Thyroid disease, on the other hand, allows you to live a regular life. It may take some time to identify the correct treatment choice for you and control your hormone levels, but persons with these illnesses may usually live a normal life.


Dr. Tanvi Mayur Patel, MBBS Masters in Endocrinology

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