Thyroid disease is a common condition that can cause problems due to an over-active thyroid or an under-active thyroid. The thyroid is a gland in the front of the neck that produces hormones and has many important functions to balance processes in the body, such as, controlling how fast you burn calories and controlling how fast your heart beats. Thyroid problems can be very minor or very extreme, leading to cancer. Women tend to suffer with this more than men. There are two main categories of thyroid disease: hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is when you suffer with an under-active thyroid and it doesn’t produce enough hormones. This can slow down your body’s function and is most commonly caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune condition where the thyroid gland is inflamed). Other causes could be when the immune system attacks the body and hormone resistance.
Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid is over-active and produces excessive amounts of hormones. Causes of this can be due to Graves’ disease (autoimmune disease), nodules developing in the thyroid gland that secrete hormones and cancerous growths.
SYMPTOMS OF THYROID DISEASE
Depending on the type of problem, the symptoms may vary and differ. If someone is suffering with hypothyroidism, they may experience weight gain, constipation, muscle weakness and general tiredness, dry skin, depression, thinning hair, high blood cholesterol, irregular periods and slower heart rate. If someone is suffering with hyperthyroidism, they may experience weight loss, excessive sweating, faster heart rate, anxiety and tremors.