Symptoms of Thyroid
The thyroid is a small gland about 5 cm in diameter in the front of the neck. It extends like a bow tie in the upper trachea.
It secretes thyroid hormones that have multiple effects on our body’s chemical processes. They control the metabolic rate and when they work harder, the organs work faster.
These hormones are not only key to maintaining body weight, they also regulate the use of energy from blood glucose and condition heart rate.
In fact, thyroid hormones and the heart are closely related. Not only do they affect the heart, they also influence the peripheral vascular system, the electrical system of the heart, the contraction of the myocardium and the relaxation of the left ventricle.
Thyroid disorders can not only aggravate a pre-existing heart disease, they can also cause it.
The hormone level in the blood is regulated by a feedback mechanism that functions like the heating thermostat.
When the concentration of thyroid hormones in the blood is low, the pituitary produces thyrotropin hormone (TSH), also called thyroid stimulating hormone, which causes the thyroid to produce more hormones.
But when thyroid hormone levels are high, fewer stimulating hormones are produced and the hormone secretion is low.
Causes of Excess Thyroid Hormone
These mechanisms can break down and make the thyroid hyperactive, creating an excess of thyroid hormones.
This is what is known as hyperthyroidism.
This alteration affects the metabolism and the use of energy, accelerating the body’s processes. Its most common cause is Graves’ disease and another less common cause is the formation of small hyperactive nodules in the gland.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism
In general, it is manifested by systemic symptoms, that is, general symptoms that are not specific to a disease: anxiety and nervousness, insomnia, increased sweating, weight loss despite eating well or even increasing appetite.
Irritability, hyperactivity and character changes are very common. Bowel movements are accelerated and diarrhea appears.
There is weakness and dyspnea of effort caused by the involvement of the metabolism of skeletal muscles. As hyperthyroidism evolves, hand tremor, hot or reddened skin, and heat intolerance are added.
The most striking signs of the disease are red, bulging eyes (exophthalmia) and blurred vision in the case of Graves’ disease, and often a staring gaze.
Sometimes you notice lumps or discrete enlargement of the gland in the neck.
The most frequent cardiac symptom is arterial hypertension, which can be an increase of both values (maximum/diastolic and minimum/systolic) or only of the systolic. In general, this rise in blood pressure is resistant to the treatment of the usual antihypertensives.
It also usually gives tachycardia and palpitations. This is a faster heartbeat that can sometimes be irregular (greater than 90 ppm). Before making the diagnosis of inappropriate sinus arrhythmia, a thyroid hormone test should be done.
Hyperthyroidism is a common cause of increased heart rate at rest, during sleep, and with mild exercise.
In patients with overt or overt heart disease, hyperthyroidism can also produce a series of more severe arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation and even paroxysmal or ventricular tachycardia.
In fact, it is important to rule out hyperthyroidism in patients who have atrial fibrillation without a clear underlying cause. More common in the elderly
Hyperthyroidism can also lead to heart failure in very advanced cases. When pre-existing heart disease is present, worsening heart failure with hyperthyroidism is common, and can be very difficult to treat.
It can also cause a worsening of angina pectoris. It can cause an increase in the frequency of angina episodes by tachycardias difficult to control or even predispose to a heart attack.
Causes of insufficient thyroid hormone secretion
Hypothyroidism causes an insufficient production of thyroid hormones which slows down the body’s functions, making it work at idle.
Its most common cause is insufficient intake of iodine in the diet, although the addition of this trace element in cooking salt (iodized salt) has decreased its frequency.
Currently the most prevalent cause is Hashimoto’s disease. It is an autoimmune disease in which antibodies mistakenly attack the thyroid gland. Pituitary tumors are also a cause.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
Thyroid failure causes a general decline in body functions. The symptoms of hypothyroidism can be subtle and gradual. They can be mistaken for depression.
- Fatigue. Fatigue. Drowsiness. extreme sweating and sensitivity to heat
- weight gain Constipation.
- Dry, rough, scaly, thick skin. Fine and fragile nails and hair.
- Depression. Slowed mental functions and movements, e.g. difficulty getting dressed…Slow speech. Hoarse voice.
- pain or tingling in the fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome)
- Swollen face and eyes.
- goiter (when the gland swells, a lump forms in the neck)
- Bradycardia or slow pulse. Hypotension.
- Fluid retention that can trigger heart failure.
- In severe cases, confusion and dementia occur. If there is a lack of iodine in childhood, it manifests itself as cretinism. Until the first half of the twentieth century, this condition was common in isolated rural areas where fish, abundant in iodine, did not arrive.
Today, thyroid hormone treatment and surgery allows most of these patients to be well controlled.
It is important to keep in mind that common medications can interfere with treatment, so always tell your doctor if new medications need to be added or changed.