People aren’t aware how common thyroid disorders are. In fact, only a few are aware of thyroid disorders and there are only a few know that they are affected with this. The symptoms of thyroid disorders are often mistaken for other diseases, or worse, are ignored by patients with disease.
According to a study in 2012 of Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, one in every 11 Filipino adults has goiter and around one in 12 adults suffer from some form of thyroid disorders.
To raise awareness, Merck Inc. held a bloggers’ event at the Radisson Blu Hotel which then was hosted by Dr. Chrysanthus Herrera of Medical Science and Government Affairs Manager of Merck together with the guest speaker, Dr. April Medoy Abcede of Philippine Society and Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism. It was discussed that night what is thyroid about, its disorders, and how we should take care of it.
Thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped organ found at the lower middle part of the neck. It is sometimes referred to as the “master controller” of metabolism, and is important to health and well-being. The thyroid creates, stores, and releases thyroid hormones into the blood.
Thyroid hormones play an important role towards our body. Its production should be in normal levels and in case it goes beyond or it can’t reach the normal level, it signals an error in the organ. This could either result to have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
- Hypothyroidism means patients with too little thyroid hormone in their body. Those who are having this disorder tend to have slower metabolism which lead them to gaining weight despite not eating much, move, and speak slowly, feel tired and have depresses thoughts, cannot tolerate cold, and have irregular menstrual periods.
Hypothyroidism symptoms are often variable and non-specific, and may be mistaken for other diseases. Thus, those who experience the early symptoms are required to see their physician for further evaluation to ensure that the patient who is diagnosed with this disorder gets the proper treatment. To check if you are positive to it, a screening test is done. This includes checking the level of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and thyroid hormone levels in the blood (T3 and T4). Your TSH levels will be high and T3 and T4 will be low in hypothyroidism.
- Hyperthyroidism means patients with too much thyroid hormone in the body. Symptoms of those who are positive to it include hyperactive metabolism which is total opposite to the symptoms of having hypothyroidism. They lose weight despite having good appetite, have heart palpitations most of the time, irritable thoughts and insomnia, have sweating and heat intolerance, and can have tremors in their hands.
Early detection is the best way to prevent your thyroid from getting damage. Same screening test will be given. You will have low TSH and high T3 and T4 if you are hyperthyroid.
One of the signs, too, to see physician includes showing of goiter or the abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland.
Pregnant women, on the other hand, are more prone to having thyroid disorders too. Symptoms, sometimes, can be confusing since it is somewhat similar to what mostly pregnant women get to experience. For better understanding, a pregnant woman should undergo screening if they are experiencing the following:
- Prior history of thyroid disorders or prior thyroid surgery
- Age > 30 years
- Symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
- Family history of thyroid dysfunction
- Residing in areas of known moderate to severe iodine deficiency
- Type 1 diabetes or other autoimmune disorders
- History of miscarriage, preterm delivery, or infertility
- Excessive obesity (BMI > 40)
- Use of amiodarone or lithium
It is really essential to see physician as early as symptoms show this is to prevent from harming the mother and the baby.
To learn more about thyroid and its disorders, you can visit www.thyroid.ph. This is an online repository of information where people can learn more about thyroid disorders. It also contains useful guides which can help people check themselves for symptoms of thyroid disorders.