ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Thyroid Problems

Updated on October 22, 2011

he thyroid gland is located in the anterior part of the neck. It consists of two lobes lying on each side of the thyroid cartilage (Adam's apple) and connected by a band of tissue called the isthmus.

The thyroid gland is a collection of small, generally globular sacs, called follicles, filled with the prohormone known as thyroglobulin. The function of the cells lining these globules is to synthesize thyroid hormones and to secrete them directly into the circulation.


An abnormal condition characterized by excessive secretion of thyroid hormones due to the over-activity of the thyroid gland.

Hyperthyroidism is usually accompanied by enlargement of the gland, known as a goitre. A normal thyroid gland weighs 25 gm, a goitrous gland as much as 1 kg. A very large or extensive goitre may produce choking and difficulty in breathing and swallowing. Hyperthyroidism is the result of an increased metabolic rate and hyperactivity of the autonomic nervous system. This results in increased heart rate, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath, excessive sweating, nervousness, excitability, hyperactive behaviour, tremors, increased appetite, and protruding eyes.

The most common type of hyperthyroidism is Graves' disease. This is an autoimmune disorder caused by the body's production of antibodies to the thyroid. Another type of hyperthyroidism is toxic multinodular goitre (Plummer's disease), which results from a benign tumour of the thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism is treated by drugs that block or suppress the production of hormones, or by surgical removal of part of the gland (thyroidectomy).


Hypothyroidism is characterized by the deficiency of thyroid hormones.

It may be caused by inadequate iodine intake (iodine being a key constituent of thyroid hormone), a defect in the synthesis of thyroid hormone, excessive intake of iodine metabolism blocking agent, inborn error, inadequate secretion of thyroid stimulating hormone and autoimmunity. If the thyroid gland grows abnormally large, in an attempt to compensate for the lack of iodine, the condition is known as endemic, or colloid, goitre. If the gland underfunctions from birth and there is no compensatory treatment, it results in cretinism; if occurring later in life, the condition is known as myxedema. Hypothyroidism is treated by replacement therapy using synthetic or natural thyroid hormones.

Hypothyroidism in the young is characterized by thick, dry, wrinkled skin; enlarged tongue; open, drooling mouth with thick lips; broad, flat face and nose. Intelligence level is below average. In an untreated case, the child becomes a physical and mental dwarf. With thyroid and iodine treatment administered sufficiently early, the juvenile myxedema patient may show marked recovery.

Iodine deficiency

Iodine deficiency is most simply prevented by eating seafood regularly and by the use of iodized table salt. Foods such as cabbage and turnips contain a potentially dangerous pro-goitrin substance believed to inhibit normal intake of iodine by body tissues. During of cooking, however, the offending enzyme usually is destroyed.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)