Warning signs that your thyroid is failing – Prensa Libre

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Changes in your body's metabolism could be caused by alterations in thyroid functioning. (Free Press Photo: Services).

Changes in your body's metabolism could be caused by alterations in thyroid functioning. (Free Press Photo: Services).

Have you ever felt cold in hot weather (or vice versa)? Or have you tried to lose weight by dieting and exercising and simply failed? These and other signs may alert you to the status of your thyroid, so pay attention.

The thyroid, according to MedlinePlus, from the National Library of Medicine of the United States, "is a butterfly-shaped gland that is in the neck, located above the collarbone." At the time of examination, the doctor can feel it while you make a swallowing movement (swallow saliva).

According to Ángel Torres, endocrinologist, it is a “leading gland that controls the different functions in the organism”, because its functions are related to metabolism, since it is responsible for controlling heart rate, body temperature, weight and fat burning through the thyroid hormones it produces, which are based on iodine. "Hence the importance of the salt we consume being iodized," he adds.

It is important to have thyroid evaluations routinely to prevent the development of thyroid hormone disorders. (Free Press Photo: Services).

So, when the organism is altered in relation to body temperature, heart rate, weight loss or gain or any manifestation related to thyroid functions, it could be a signal to perform tests and rule out a hormone disorder. thyroid

On time evaluation

When thyroid function is affected, this could result in other organs working at a different rate than usual (and healthy) and that you perceive it physically and emotionally. However, because the signs and symptoms could be related to conditions other than thyroid, there is often a long process to reach the final diagnosis.

"In the Association of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition of Guatemala, we conclude that many patients have gone through six doctors on average before it is discovered to be the thyroid," says Torres, because there are doctors who do not take it into account when performing the exams to his patients.

The thyroid is directly related to the rhythm in which our body works. (Free Press Photo: Services).

It is recommended that people have a routine exam to know the state of this gland, which can be done in any laboratory, says the expert. Similarly, if the patient is informed and knows the functions of the thyroid, he may suggest that his doctor consider this evaluation to rule out a disorder.

“If the person suddenly gains weight progressively, even by dieting and having physical activity, there is an alarm. If it is someone who is very active, but feels fatigued all the time, they should pay attention, just as if they become a very "electric" person, ”says the doctor as a reference to identify a possible medical condition.

Although it is the general practitioner or the internist who should consider the thyroid as a possibility, the patient is advised to suggest it in his medical check-up. “If we do a routine exam, it is possible to diagnose the patient at an early stage.

Thyroid conditions

Symptoms may vary depending on the patient and the condition of the patient. According to the expert in endocrinology, the most common is hypothyroidism, although there are those who have hyperthyroidism:

Hypothyroidism

This is the most common disorder among patients, says Torres, and involves the slow functioning of the thyroid gland. According to the Mayo Clinic, "it is a disorder in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough of certain crucial hormones."

Although at an early stage it does not manifest major symptoms, when it develops it could cause health problems. "With a decrease in thyroid function, all our basic functions such as heart rate, brain oxygenation and decreased fat burning are affected," says Torres.

People with hypothyroidism usually gain weight. (Free Press Photo: Services).

The person suffering from hypothyroidism usually feels tired, because not enough oxygen reaches the brain. It also increases weight and low body temperature, so it feels cold even in hot weather. Another characteristic symptom is dry skin and, emotionally, patients become depressed.

Therefore, when the disorder has not been diagnosed, it is usually sent to patients with other medical specialists such as psychologists, for example, since it is unknown that the problem is in the thyroid, which causes an imbalance in the functioning of the body.

The lack of thyroid hormones can be supplemented by oral treatment. (Free Press Photo: Services).

When hypothyroidism is diagnosed, as a treatment the patient is given a hormonal replacement by means of tablets. The treatment is oral and administered indefinitely, since "the specialist must define the dose according to the degree of deficiency of the patient," explains the doctor. Also, remember that recovery is a gradual process for the patient to reach their normal levels.

Hyperthyroidism

Contrary to the previous disorder, this is the "excess thyroid function, therefore, the metabolism is accelerated, there is tachycardia, the body trembles and the person sweats," says the endocrinologist.

The hyperthyroid patient is characterized by involuntary weight loss. (Free Press Photo: Services).

In this case, the patient burns calories without dieting and exercising. "The person is sitting, but his body internally behaves as if he were running and lost weight," he explains. In addition, contrary to what happens when there is a deficiency of thyroid function, the patient has a constant feeling of heat. Similarly, she feels very active.

Hyperthyroidism can be treated with tablets administered under medical prescription. (Free Press Photo: Services).

For patients with hyperthyroidism, they are given “a medication taken to cut the functioning of thyroid hormones. These help regulate the patient and could heal, ”says Torres. In other cases, according to the Mayo Clinic, "treatment involves surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid gland."

Who can suffer from thyroid disorders?

These can develop at any age and for different reasons, explains the endocrinologist. In other words, the person could suffer from hereditary causes (when a family member suffers from it), it can be congenital (at birth), or autoimmune (that the body itself generates).

Thyroid problems may develop at any age. (Free Press Photo: Services).

If the patient suffers from hypothyroidism and has not been treated, it could cause temporary infertility, which means that it would be difficult for her to get pregnant. However, when treated, pregnancy could develop. In the case of patients who give them this disorder during pregnancy, if not treated, the baby could be born with a thyroid condition, but it can be diagnosed and treated early. “When children are born, they can have a thyroid test to check their health,” says Torres.

If thyroid disorders are treated during pregnancy, the baby could be born without problems. (Free Press Photo: Services).

The endocrinologist's recommendation is that the person has a routine thyroid check to prevent or rule out a disorder of the gland.

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