The thyroid is a gland responsible for the secretion of certain substances necessary for the body. The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system, responsible for producing hormones that balance and make our body work. You may have heard that the thyroid can become inflamed and cause hormonal and body problems, but you are unsure. To solve these doubts, in this FastlyHealarticle, we will see how to know if I have an inflamed thyroid.
Table of Contents
What is and where is the thyroid gland?
As we have said before, the thyroid is a gland that is part of the endocrine system, responsible for generating hormones for our body. The thyroid gland is located in the lower part of the neck, just below the walnut. It is shaped like a bow or a butterfly, with two lobes spanning the neck and weighing approximately 28 grams. It is placed right between the skin and the windpipe, although it is challenging to find it by touch through contact with the skin.
The thyroid is responsible for generating thyroid hormone or thyroxine (t4) and generates triiodothyronine (T3). Once created, it expands into the blood and is transported throughout our body. In order to generate it, you need a specific element, iodine, which transforms it through a chemical reaction and converts it into these hormones that we have mentioned. Therefore, we must eat foods that contain iodine in our diet.
This hormonal secretion regulates our metabolism at various levels. It is responsible for maintaining a stable body temperature, assimilating nutrients from food, promoting growth, balancing the nervous system, controlling the heart rate, and generating the body’s energy to function.
The thyroid can change and generate a dysfunction in the system. The best-known diseases in this gland are hypothyroidism, when it does not create enough hormone; hyperthyroidism, when it causes too many hormones; chronic thyroid and thyroiditis, when inflamed; or thyroid cancer when it generates malignant cells. We will focus on inflammation of the thyroid to answer the question of how to know if I have an inflamed thyroid.
Thyroid inflammation: symptoms
The thyroid becomes inflamed as a symptom of a significant disorder, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Depending on which disease generates this inflammation, we may present some symptoms or others. In this list, we expose the most common symptoms to know if you have an inflamed thyroid:
- I am noticing the swollen neck: having the sensation that the channel is swollen, but not identifying this impression with chronic neck pain: pharyngitis, laryngitis, swollen tonsils, etc.
- Visualize an enlargement of the nut of the neck: in front of the mirror to see how our channel has increased in volume. This is due to the goiter, that is, to the inflammation generated in the area.
- Dysphagia: difficulty swallowing. As the gland grows, it obstructs the mechanism that allows us to consume, and we find it difficult to perform this action.
- Dysphonia or aphonia: noticing that our voice sounds different or we do not have a representative directly. This is due to the pressure exerted by the gland on the area where the vocal cords, responsible for the voice, are located.
- Respiratory difficulties: noticing that it is difficult for us to breathe, that the air does not pass usually and does not flow through our trachea. It is also a sensation generated by the goiter’s pressure on the windpipe.
Other symptoms that may indicate that our thyroid is swollen and not working well are:
- Irregular weight: change weight quickly and unintentionally. Lose weight or gain a lot without finding a stable weight. This is because the nutrients in food are not well assimilated.
- Irregular menstruation: Because hormones’ secretion is not correct and, therefore, our cycle is altered.
- Dehydrated skin and hair: not enough hormone is generated, and the skin and hair begin to lose nutrients and become dry. Hair loss is another indicator.
- Constipation: because the nutrients are not assimilated, the digestive system is affected and can cause constipation.
- Unstable heart rate: too fast or too slow, depending on your disease. This happens because the hormonal lack of control cannot regulate the heart rate.
- Depression and mood swings: the unstable secretion of hormones generates a generalized mood sensation of depression or can cause peaks of extreme joy continued by moments of sadness.
- Tiredness: feeling that you do not have enough energy to face day-to-day activities.
What to do if I have a swollen thyroid
Suppose you think you may have an inflamed thyroid because you have felt identified or identified with any of the symptoms listed above. In that case, we recommend that you visit your doctor quickly so that he can analyze your situation and study your subject from a professional perspective.
The instability of the thyroid is easy to know through a blood test, which facilitates the knowledge of the hormonal composition in your blood and the possible alterations with which it can be detected.
Tips to prevent thyroid inflammation
We want to give you some tips that help maintain the balance of this gland and, consequently, prevent thyroid inflammation and are beneficial for your health:
- Maintain a varied diet rich in fruits and vegetables that provides iodine to your body. Foods rich in iodine are nuts, blueberries, fish, and legumes.
- Do not consume alcohol or tobacco. This promotes good hormonal and circulatory function, which facilitates the balance of the thyroid gland.
- Perform physical exercise daily. It is also an excellent way to keep hormonal secretion balanced and generate a good circulation of thyroid hormones.
- Rest the appropriate hours. This helps us keep our metabolism in order and not force the thyroid gland to generate more hormones to keep us active. A good rest can be an excellent ally for preventing many diseases.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to How to know if I have an inflamed thyroid, we recommend that you enter our Endocrine System category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.