Shaped like a butterfly, the thyroid is a gland that sits low in the front of neck portion. It sits below the laryngeal prominence also known as the Adam’s Apple, along the front side of the windpipe. The wings of the gland are called lobes which are connected by a bridge (isthmus) in the middle giving it that shape. This gland secretes various hormones which collectively are called thyroid hormones.
Secretion of hormones by the gland is important for the proper functioning. When this gland over secretes (Hyperthyroidism) or under secretes (Hypothyroidism) hormones, this irregularity results in certain disorders and are referred to as thyroid disorders. The common thyroid disorders are Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease, Goitre, and Thyroid nodules.
Here, the thyroid gland is overactive due to over secretion of hormones. The effects of this condition are witnessed more in girls as compared to boys.
Graves’ disease is considered one of the most common causes of hyperthyroidism. It occurs as an autoimmune disorder arising due to an attack on the thyroid gland. When nodules on thyroid cause glands to over secrete hormones, it is called toxic nodular goitre.
It is the opposite of Hyperthyroidism. Here, the thyroid gland is underactive due to under secretion of hormones. It is often caused by Hashimoto’s disease. Damage from radiation treatment may also result in this condition.
Medically known as lymphocytic thyroiditis, it is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Girls are often affected by this condition. It arises due to an attack on the body’s immune system by antibodies, slowly destroying the thyroid gland and its ability to secrete hormones.
Mostly mild cases are registered where people don’t show any obvious symptoms. This disease can remain stable for years with subtle symptoms. They often mimic symptoms of other conditions.