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The thyroid is a gland in the neck. It makes thyroid hormone. A hormone is a chemical messenger for the body. If there is a problem with the thyroid, the level of thyroid hormone may change. This can lead to symptoms. Read on to learn more.
With this problem, your thyroid gland doesn’t make enough hormone. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto thyroiditis. This occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism may also occur if there’s not enough iodine in the body. The thyroid needs iodine to make hormone. Problems with the pituitary gland can lead to it. If the thyroid gland is removed during surgery, hypothyroidism will result.
Low energy, fatigue, depression
Longer, heavier menstrual periods
Dry and brittle skin, hair, nails
With this problem, the thyroid gland produces too much hormone. The most common cause is Graves disease. This is due to the body’s immune system telling the thyroid to make too much hormone. Another cause is a nodule (small bump) in the thyroid gland. This can cause hyperthyroidism if the cells in the nodule produce more hormone than the rest of the gland.
Shaking, nervousness, irritability
A rapid, irregular heartbeat
Muscle weakness, fatigue
More frequent bowel movements
Shorter, lighter menstrual periods
Nodules are lumps of tissue in the thyroid gland. Most often, the cause of nodules isn’t known. But they may be more common in people who’ve had medical radiation to the head or neck. Sometimes they can be felt on the outside of the neck. Most of the time, nodules don’t affect the production of thyroid hormone. They usually cause no symptoms. Most nodules are benign (noncancerous). But sometimes a nodule may be cancerous.
A goiter is the enlargement of the thyroid gland. When the gland enlarges, you may see or feel a swelling on your neck. A goiter may develop in a person with hypothyroidism.