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Thyroid DiseasesRead more wellness Resources

Whenever I see any patient with any chronic illness, I always think that thyroid may play a role- Dr. Hyman

Thyroid is the PACE SETTER of the body- Guyton Text Of Physiology

What is the thyroid gland?

The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland located in the neck region.

What does it do?

The thyroid gland produces the master metabolism hormone that controls every function in your body. It literally determines the speed of every function, and enhances the activity of every function in your body. It improves your mood, your skin, hair and nails, sex drive, heart function, cholesterol, fertility and hormonal symptoms such as PMS and menopause. It influences muscle aches and pains, joint pains, body temperature, and your metabolism.

What can go wrong with the thyroid gland?

The most common diseases affecting the gland are either an excess production of the hormone or less production of the hormone. Increased production is called hyperthyroidism while less production of the hormone is known as hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism can be caused by various diseases, where as hypothyroidism is usually caused by less hormone production from the gland per se or due to removal of the thyroid gland. Like other parts of the body, the thyroid can also get infected, can have a cancer growth among other diseases, however these are relatively rare.

Why is it important to test for thyroid diseases?

The initial symptoms of hypothyroid diseases are so subtle that even doctors miss out on the diagnosis. This can cause varied unexplained symptoms that can be confusing and frustrating. Treating hypothyroidism can solve many physical problems previously undetected. Hyperthyroid diseases usually present with classic features and can be suspected by your doctor.

What are the tests for thyroid diseases?

Thyroid functions can be tested by checking the levels of T3 and T4, the two primary hormones of the thyroid gland and also by testing the TSH which is the hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland functions, like most endocrine organs, are intricately weaved among several functions and feedback mechanisms that control the functioning of the gland. Thus testing for thyroid diseases in the initial stages cannot be accurate and have to be co-related with the clinical symptoms of the patients. In certain conditions, your doctor will opt to undertake further blood tests to detect anti bodies against the gland and to detect total hormone levels etc. At times, it is necessary to image the thyroid gland and that is done by either an Ultrasound image of the gland, a thyroid scan which is imaging of the gland after injecting a dye or by a Fine Needle Aspiration study in which a small piece of thyroid tissue is aspirated from the gland and studied under the microscope. These are advanced tests usually used to rule out cancer.

QUOTES

America's health care system is in crisis precisely because we systematically neglect wellness and prevention.

- Tom Harkin

The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.

- Abraham Maslow

There are six components of wellness: proper weight and diet, proper exercise, breaking the smoking habit, control of alcohol, stress management and periodic exams.

- Kenneth H. Cooper

Water is a only drink for a wise man

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Your stomach is not a waste basket

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The ground work of all happiness is good health

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"To insure good health: Eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life

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Improved diet and physical activity are more effective than medication in reducing the occurrence of Type 2 diabetes.

- New England Journal of Medicine