Hey! Aunt you have really changed! Thyroid Awareness Month ( Series I )


Thyroid awareness month is celebrated in January, when people interact with health care workers and discuss about thyroid gland problems. Do you do this?

Thyroid Glands are butterfly shaped glands that secrete hormones. Whenever I say gland that means that it secretes something, like the salivary gland which secretes saliva in your mouth, the pancreas which secretes insulin. So basically it’s a hormone producing organ which has a very potential function.

Thyroid Glands are located in your neck region; it is usually not palpable and not enlarged. Some people even don’t know if they have thyroid gland problem because they wait for it to get enlarged. You don’t have to wait for the glands to enlarge.

I have a relative of mine who suffered from hypothyroidism for about several years. Hypothyroidism means that the thyroid’s ability to secrete hormones like T3 and T4 gets diminished and hyperthyroidism is opposite to that.

Women all over the world are more affected by it, but till to this date, I have only seen male patients.  So basically these hormones T3 and T4 (chemical names, you don’t want to know the full form) are essential because they regulates the bodies basal metabolic rate, it stimulates the psychic growth and plays an important role in calcium metabolism.

I am going to talk about my aunt; she is about 38 years old, and she experiences extreme lethargy. She has lost interest in the things that she used to like.  She experiences somnolence (excessive sleep) for more than the usual. She has gained weight over the past few years.  She is having excessive bleeding during menstruation .Now most people interpret that as getting old syndrome and so the days went by like that.

After 5 years of the recurring symptoms, on a routine test she discovers that she has high TSH level. TSH (full form would be Thyroid stimulating hormone).  If the T3 and T4 are in normal range then these hormones would have suppressed TSH but since her thyroids had kicked the hell out of T3 and T4, the TSH were sky high and were laughing at my aunt (I thought a little bit of humor might work here).

So coming back to the aunt, she drastically changed after the medication which helped elevate the hormones. She developed an ultrasonic personality (my way of saying really cool), heard that she even went on a dream vacation to Europe .

So basically, what needs to be stressed is the fact that you might have these tinny problems which can be fixed if you report on time, and please do not hesitate to do a TSH test.

For people who want to know about  Hyperthyroidism, it’s basically the opposite of Hypo, like for example you lose weight despite the fact that you eat normally, there is fatigue and you sweat excessively. You cannot tolerate heat and you often hear your heart beat which is a pathological condition called palpitation.  In extreme cases certain ophthalmological features like eyes getting enlarged are prominent features.

(Series of Posts on Thyroid Glands coming out next, so stay tuned ! )

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