Many men and women at some point during the course of their lives begin to experience signs and symptoms that reveal to medical professionals the possibility they are suffering from one of two different forms of thyroid disease. These forms are known in medical terms as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism; they refer to factors in the body that have caused the thyroid gland to become overactive (in the case of hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism).

The thyroid gland is among the most important glands in the human body and is the largest of the endocrine variety. It is located in the neck, just below the thyroid cartilage, which is more commonly called the Adam’s apple in men. It is responsible for how efficiently and quickly the body burns the energy that has been taken in by various means. Additionally, it also controls how a body makes proteins and sensitive at any point in time to hormones.

This gland is so important for optimal human body function (often referred to as “homeostasis”) that its lack of activity or the presence of overactivity on the part of the thyroid can lead to many other issues. This includes possible erectile dysfunction in men and uncontrollable weight gain or loss in men and women and extreme fatigue among a host of problems. Doctors and internists work hard to help their patients do the things necessary to gaining some control over their thyroid gland activities.

When the thyroid begins to function in a less-than-optimal manner it is usually the case that the body’s thyroid hormones are affected most. Additionally, dysfunctions in the pituitary gland (necessary in a myriad of ways) which is responsible for producing thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH can affect the body. Almost any medical condition, sign and symptom brought on by the onset of thyroid disease can be laid at the feet of a lack of thyroid hormones or an overabundance of them, including TSH.

Keep in mind that the concentration of thyroid stimulating hormone increases as people age, so any tests for the hormone need to be adjusted as people get older. In 3 to 10 percent of adults, hypothyroidism will be a condition they must confront. Women and elders suffer this condition in higher numbers than younger males.

Related Diseases to the Thyroid Gland

There are a number of specific conditions or diseases related to problems with the thyroid gland, with such diseases being categorized as issues related to either hyperactive or underactive thyroid glands. There are at least nine specific medical conditions related to hypothyroidism, including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which affects up to 1.5 people in 1000. It is especially more common in women, at up to a 20-to-1 ratio and strikes those women aged 45 to 65 years of age at the highest rates of all.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is considered to be an autoimmune disease. It works to destroy the thyroid gland over time via cells and antibodies in the body. It was also the first autoimmune disease to be recognized as such. It is also the most common cause of hypothyroidism in people living in North America. Chances are high that a patient with underactive thyroid gland activity will be diagnosed as suffering from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

In cases where the thyroid has become overactive, Graves’ disease is quite often the most commonly seen of the disorders associated with hyperthyroidism. When the disease makes its appearance it tends to go after the thyroid with particular enthusiasm and may cause the condition known as goiter, which refers to the enlargement of the thyroid itself (up to twice its normal size).

Graves’ disease can also create symptoms in those affected that include increased heart rates, disturbed sleep cycles, generalized muscle weakness and irritability that is sometimes extreme in those afflicted by the disease. A common symptom related to Graves’ is the appearance of bulging eyes, called “exophthalmoses” by physicians and researchers. It can affect up to 2% of females and will appear after childbirth in many cases.

Treatments Available

Fortunately, there are a number of effective treatments for those who begin to suffer from disorders due to ways in which the thyroid gland begins to act in the body. For those affected by underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) glands, there is a choice between the oral dosing with a synthetic thyroid hormone called Levothyroxine. The common name for this drug in North America is Synthroid which has been around for several decades. Several quality generic versions are also available. Or with Armour a natural extract which may need to be provided by a compounded pharmacist.

Many people afflicted by overactive (hyperthyroidism) can benefit from prescription medications from a class of drugs known as thioamides. Carbimazole is the most commonly known of these medications. It works well in helping the body to reduce the overproduction of various thyroid hormones which cause the ills related to overactivity in the thyroid gland.

Those who may not be attaining the optimal effects hoped for by oral medications related to overactivity might be able to benefit from surgery which is sometimes needed for a number of reasons. Surgeons try to remove only the amount of thyroid gland necessary to restore a person back to normal activity or, at the least, activity that can be controlled through the use of medications. Generally, it is recommend that, outside of those suffering from thyroid cancer, as much of the thyroid gland as possible be left in the body. This is because removal of sections of the gland will usually lead to underactivity in the gland.

Another effective treatment in many suffering from goiters can be that which uses radioiodines. Again, though the gland may shrink there is a definite possibility that an underactive thyroid may be the end result. Many physicians and researchers would say that an underactive gland might be preferable to an overactive gland in terms of controlling eventual outcomes and physical manifestations related to the thyroid gland itself.

For those suffering from either of the two conditions most commonly associated with thyroid disease (over or underactive thyroids) it does not have to be that they must just accept the ensuing medical conditions that might result. Medications, surgeries and certain therapies involving radioiodines can be a big help. So, take some time to discuss all the options for dealing with this disease and then select those drugs or therapies or even surgeries that can help best.

Author's Bio: 

Did you know that today we can find footprints of toxins within our bodies including petrochemicals, heavy metals, pesticides and organic solvents? And that we can uncover our exact deficiencies in fatty acids, amino acids, trace elements, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins?

This comes from a very unique approach that applies a specific science as the critical component in delivering personalized health maintenance to my clients. And this has become my passion.

My own health is what has driven me to become supremely qualified as a holistic health practitioner.
The journey began in 1984, when I first understood that the mind-body-soul connection is the key to vibrant health. It is called psycho-neuro–immunology. My path of discovery has been an exciting one and, at almost 70, I marvel at how it has worked to keep me focused, healthy and dynamic.

Helping people to understand how they can take charge of their own health has become my main priority. Hence, the educational process which shows others what is challenging their health and how to change is a rewarding process for both parties.

My education in Nutritional and Environmental Medicine with ACNEM (Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine ) started in 1999 and continues to this day as the understanding of the human body magnifies. If you click on the practitioners tab on their site, you will find me listed under Western Australia.

By 2002 I was involved in looking at pathology profiles with completely different eyes. It deepened my understanding of certain scientific laboratory technologies that can define and suggest how to rectify health imbalances before they mature into full-fledged disease.

Today we pinpoint dysfunctions in human physiology by measuring imbalances in digestion, hormones, acid stress, inflammation, calcium metabolism, oxidative stress, connective tissue strength and protein metabolism.

What all those big words mean is that, through specific technologies, I can help you get beyond individual symptoms so you can see the overall picture and dramatically improve your feeling of well-being.

To help me work even more effectively, I have invested in acquiring greater communication tools. In 1999, I obtained my qualifications as a Certified Master Practitioner in NLP and Certified Advanced Eriksonian Hypnosis.

I trained under Terry McGlendon whose program is endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners and Applied Psychology in Australia. He is the only Australian to be part of the original group that studied with highly esteemed co-developers Dr. Richard Bandler and Dr. John Grinder from its inception in 1972.
Are you interested in what the underlying causes are of snoring, sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, certain depressions, excessive tiredness and other health challenges? The list goes on and on. And all of them are symptoms that can be addressed with what it is I do.
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