The Thyroid and Its Most Typical ProblemsThe thyroid is a gland. It resembles a butterfly and is situated in the neck. Thyroid secretes hormones, the most significant of which are T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). The function of these hormones is to supply the body cells with enough energy.

There are several diseases, which could disturb the normal work of the thyroid. The major of them are:

1) Hypothyroidism,

2) Hyperthyroidism,

3) Goiter,

4) Thyroid Nodules,

5) Thyroid Cancer,

6) Thyroiditis

Hypothyroidism is a disease, while which the thyroid is underactive. Thus, it produces not enough hormones and the cells could not function properly. Hypothyroidism could be caused by different factors: it could be, for example, a birth defect, or the consequence of a surgery. Usually because of Hypothyroidism Hashimoto's disease develops, which is also known as the autoimmune disease. While the disease the thyroid ability to secrete hormones is destroyed.

Those who suffer from an underactive thyroid have a slowdown metabolism, may feel exhausted and depressed, and gain weight.

No less dangerous is when the thyroid secretes more hormones than it is necessary. An overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism may cause Graves' disease, which is a kind of autoimmune condition, when the body is incapable to recognize its organs, tissues, glands, and thus hurts itself.

As the consequences of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism the thyroid may enlarge in its size, which results in a goiter, the swelling of the neck. On the other hand, autoimmune diseases may be the reason of the appearance of benign or cancerous cysts, lumps, and bumps in the gland, so called thyroid nodules.

The appearance of cancerous thyroid nodules are known as thyroid cancer. Though thyroid cancer is a rather rare disease, nowadays the cases grow higher, due to the pollution and radiation. The other risk factors are first of all heredity and the lack of iodine. The latter may be the result of a diet, which a person keeps to and thus increasing the risk of getting the dangerous disease. Besides, practically 20% of all the cases is the result of the abnormal gene of patients.

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Bacterial or viral illnesses may cause inflammation of the thyroid, which becomes reddened, swollen, and may hurt. In medicine this state of the gland is known as thyroditis.