Dr. Siri Kamath

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What is Thyroid?

Thyroid health is crucial to overall well-being, influencing various bodily functions. This comprehensive guide explores the parts of the thyroid gland, joint disorders, associated symptoms, and effective management strategies.

Common Thyroid Disorders:

  1. Hypothyroidism: Occurs when the thyroid produces insufficient hormones, leading to a slowdown in bodily functions.  
  2. Hyperthyroidism: Characterized by an overactive thyroid, resulting in an accelerated metabolism and increased bodily functions.
  3. Thyroid Nodules: Abnormal growths on the thyroid gland that may be benign or, in rare cases, cancerous.

Causes of Thyroid Disorders:

  1. Autoimmune Conditions: Conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (hypothyroidism) and Graves’ disease (hyperthyroidism) involve the immune system attacking the thyroid.
  2. Iodine Deficiency: Inadequate iodine intake can lead to thyroid dysfunction.
  3. Genetic Predisposition: Family history may increase the risk of thyroid disorders.

Symptoms of Thyroid Disorders:

1. Hypothyroidism Symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Cold intolerance
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Depression

2. Hyperthyroidism Symptoms:

  • Weight loss
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Heat intolerance

3. Thyroid Nodule Symptoms:

  • Swelling in the neck
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness

Complications of Untreated Thyroid Disorders:

  1. Cardiovascular Issues: Untreated thyroid disorders can lead to heart problems.
  2. Mental Health Impact: Thyroid disorders may contribute to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
  3. Reproductive Issues: Thyroid dysfunction can affect fertility and menstrual regularity.


Managing Thyroid Disorders:

  1. Medication: Hormone replacement therapy is commonly prescribed for hypothyroidism.
  2. Antithyroid Drugs: These are used to control excessive thyroid hormone production in hyperthyroidism.
  3. Radioactive Iodine Therapy is a medical treatment for hyperthyroidism that utilizes radioactive iodine to decrease thyroid activity.
  4. Surgery: In some cases, surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid gland may be recommended.


Understanding thyroid health, recognizing symptoms of disorders, and seeking timely medical intervention are vital for effective management. Collaboration with healthcare professionals ensures a personalized approach to addressing specific thyroid concerns and maintaining optimal health. Regular check-ups and adherence to prescribed treatments contribute to a balanced and thriving life despite thyroid disorders.

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