Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid no longer produces enough hormones to make the body work properly. If left untreated, it can lead to high cholesterol, osteoporosis, heart disease and depression. Some symptoms of hypothyroidism are similar to those reported during menopause transition. These include fatigue, forgetfulness, mood swings, weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles and cold intolerance. It is a small organ in the shape of a bow tie, located at the front of the neck above the clavicle. Its main task is to make the thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism.
The most common cause of hyperthyroidism in women is the autoimmune disease known as Graves disease, where the antibodies target the gland and accelerate hormone production. If you have an inactive thyroid gland and produce very little hormone, you have hypothyroidism. On the other hand, if you have an overactive thyroid gland and produce too much hormone, you have hyperthyroidism. The causes, symptoms and treatments differ between these two thyroid disorders. Rarely, you may develop an overactive thyroid due to thyroid cancer that starts with your thyroid sacs.
Little is known about why specific individuals contract this disease. This condition is known as a toxic nodular or multilingual goiter. The same symptoms can also be caused by taking too much thyroid hormone as a tablet.
If you develop hypothyroidism, you should take thyroid hormone medications for the rest of your life. Hyperthyroidism is uncommon in people treated with thyroid hormones to correct a poorly active thyroid gland Hashimoto Thyroid Disease . If the dose of thyroid medication is too high, it can lead to thyroid activity and thus to the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. The good news is that hyperthyroidism is a manageable and treatable condition.
In the latter two forms, there is an excess of thyroid hormone, but the thyroid is not overactive. Hyperthyroidism is confirmed by laboratory tests that measure the amount of thyroid hormones (thyroxine and triiodothyronine) and the thyroid stimulating hormone in the blood. A high level of thyroid hormone in the blood plus low TSH levels is common in an overactive thyroid gland.