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Thursday, May 25, 2017

TALKING THYROID- World Thyroid Awareness Day 25th May

The thyroid, a small butterfly-shaped gland inside our neck, is located in front our windpipe & below the voice box.
 It makes 2 vital hormones i.e. T3 & T4 that reach all organs of our body via the bloodstream. They control important bodily functions such as energy utilization & overall metabolism.

Another endocrine gland at the base of the brain called the Pituitary regulates the functioning of the thyroid too by producing TSH, which instructs the thyroid gland to make adequate amounts of T3 & T4.

Endocrinologists are super-specialized doctors who are experts in thyroid care. Some common thyroid conditions include:-

1. Hypothyroidism
Insufficient production of thyroid hormones leads to an under-active thyroid state with consequent slowing of metabolism, which manifests as lethargy, cold sensitivity and slowed mentation.

2. Hyperthyroidism
Excessive T3 and T4 are harmful too. One of the most common causes of this disorder is Grave’s disease that tends to affect women more than men, and also runs in families.

3. Thyroid nodules
These are lumps in the thyroid that are mostly benign. However, 4-8% can be cancer & hence a thorough medical evaluation by an Endocrinologist is warranted. Occasionally thyroid nodules over-produce hormones or grow large enough to result in trouble with breathing or swallowing.

4. Other thyroid problems
Comprise goiter (thyroid swelling), cancer & thyroiditis (a temporary bruising of the thyroid).

Considering the complex nature of these issues, it is highly recommended you consult an Endocrinologist early on itself to prevent worsening of the problem. Early and accurate diagnosis leads to optimal management and best outcomes. Most thyroid disorders can be controlled well, with a healthy quality of life.

-Blog by Dr. Shehzad Topiwala, Consultant Department of  Endocrinology, SevenHills Hospital, Mumbai.
For more information about the disease or seek an expert opinion feel free to contact us anytime at 022-67676738/67676739


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