Thyroid disorders – types, Signs, and symptoms, Causes

Thyroid gland

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck just above the trachea. It consists of two connected lobes. The thyroid follicle is the secretory unit thyroid.

Thyroid hormones are,

  • Thyroxine/ Tetraiodothyronine
  • Tri-iodothyronine

Functions of thyroid hormones

  • Control the basal metabolic rate
  • Enhance mitochondrial metabolism
  • Stimulate neural development and normal growth
  • Stimulate protein synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism
  • Increase cholesterol and triglyceride production and breakdown

There are three types of thyroid disorders

  1. Hypothyroidism
  2. Hyperthyroidism
  3. non-thyroidal illness

Signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism are,

  • Weight gain
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Bradycardia
  • Hair loss

Causes of hypothyroidism

  • Autoimmune hypothyroidism – Thyroid illness is most commonly caused by this. Hashimoto thyroiditis is the primary condition of hypothyroidism. Thyroid follicular cells are destroyed as a result.
  • Inborn errors in thyroid hormone biosynthesis
  • Iodine deficiency or excess
  • Drug-induced – Various drugs affect thyroid function
  • Radiation treatment – Hypothyroidism is caused by surgical removal of the thyroid gland.
  • Viral or bacterial thyroiditis
  • Subclinical hypothyroidism

Untreated hypothyroidism can lead to these diseases.

Myxoedema -It is caused by an accumulation of hydrophilic mucopolysaccharides in the skin and other tissues. Cretinism – It is a severe thyroid hormone deficit in infants.


Hyperthyroidism is a hypermetabolic disorder induced by excessive thyroid hormone production. Thyrotoxicosis is overactivity of the thyroid gland resulting in high amounts of thyroid hormones in the circulation.

Sign and symptoms of hyperthyroidism

  • Weight loss
  • Excessive sweating
  • Hyperactivity
  • Tachycardia
  • Sleeplessness

Causes of hyperthyroidism

  • Autoimmune thyroid diseases – Graves disease-symptoms are bulging eyes, goiter, sweating – Hashitoxicosis -symptoms are fatigue, anxiety
  • Toxic nodular/multinodular goiter
  • hCG induced hyperthyroidism

non-thyroidal illness

Many disorders are associated with variation in the concentration of thyroid hormones in the absence of definable thyroid disease. non-thyroidal illness causes are acute and chronic illnesses(myocardial infarction, surgery, trauma) and starvation.



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