What Types of Thyroid Disorders Are There?

Thyroid disorders are problems that affect the thyroid gland, a gland which is located in the front of the neck. The thyroid gland is especially significant when it comes to affecting one’s metabolism. When thyroid hormones are not being produced at a healthy level, then there are a significant amount of disorders and symptoms that can occur. The thyroid gland produces two hormones – thyroxine and liothyronine.

Liothyronine is the more active of the two hormones, and its major function is to maintain a healthy rate of metabolism in the body. However, sometimes, the thyroid gland can be underactive, or overactive, and this can cause potentially serious effects. Here are some of the types of thyroid disorders that can occur when hormones are not adequately produced:

  • Hypothyroidism: If the thyroid gland is unable to produce adequate amounts of liothyronine and thyroxine, then a condition called hypothyroidism can occur. The thyroid gland is underactive during this condition and thus cannot produce the hormones at normal levels. This can be caused by the inflammation of the thyroid gland. If this condition persists, it can lead to several symptoms. For instance, fatigue, constipation, muscle/joint aches, depression, and feeling cold.
  • Myxoedema: If hypothyroidism is not treated, then it could potentially lead to extremely low levels of thyroid hormone production. When liothyronine and thyroxine reach such low levels, a condition called myxoedema can occur. Symptoms of this disorder can include hair loss and blood disorders. In more extreme cases, however, symptoms can be much worse, perhaps resulting in a coma or psychosis.
  • Hyperthyroidism: Although the name appears very similar to hypothyroidism, the conditions actually occur as a result of opposite causes. As opposed to hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism occurs when there is excessive production of the thyroid hormone. Although this condition is fairly uncommon, there are still pronounced symptoms. Such symptoms may include increased sweating, weight loss, increased bowel movements and fatigue. Hyperthyroidism can be caused by excessive iodine consumption.
  • Thyroid cancer: The thyroid gland is subject to cancer, and, although not that common, cases of thyroid cancer do exist. The more common cases are with adult women, especially those under the age of 55. Thyroid cancer tends to have a high survival rate, especially if diagnosed early.
  • Thyroid nodules: This is when lumps or unusual masses occur on the thyroid gland, which is called nodules. If such nodules are extremely large, then they may compress nearby structures, which may affect their functioning. As a result, symptoms may occur, depending on which structure is compressed. Thyroid nodules usually come about as a result of tumors or cysts.

If your thyroid gland is underactive and is producing inadequate levels of liothyronine and thyroxine, then there are ways to resolve the symptoms. It is possible to purchase thyroid medication as a mean of easing and eliminating your symptoms. It is important, however, to consult a doctor before doing so, as you could be risking more serious issues if you take the wrong medication.