Understanding Thyroid Disorders: Symptoms and Thyroid Surgery Complications

Understanding Thyroid Disorders: Symptoms and Thyroid Surgery Complications

Thyroid disorders are some of the most common yet underdiagnosed conditions that affect millions of people across the globe. The thyroid gland is shaped like a butterfly and sits at the front of your neck. It is vital because it regulates various bodily functions by producing thyroid hormones.

These hormones are essential in keeping your metabolism running smoothly. To diagnose and monitor thyroid health, a thyroid blood test is often recommended. This test detects imbalances that might indicate thyroid dysfunction. Read further to learn about the symptoms of thyroid issues and the need for thyroidectomy.

What is Thyroid Disease?

Thyroid disease contains a variety of disorders that affect the function of the thyroid gland. The main types of thyroid disease are hypothyroidism, where the gland underproduces hormones, and hyperthyroidism, where there is an overproduction. Other conditions include thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid) and goitre (enlargement of the thyroid gland), each affecting the gland’s ability to produce hormones correctly.

What are the Symptoms of Thyroid Gland Issues?

The symptoms of thyroid dysfunction can be broad and vary significantly depending on whether the thyroid is overactive or underactive. Here are some of the most common thyroid gland issues symptoms

  1. Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid)
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Depression
  • Slow heart rate
  • Muscle weakness

2. Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)

  • Unintended weight loss
  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Increased appetite
  • Nervousness, anxiety, and irritability
  • Sweating
  • Changes in menstrual patterns
  • Increased sensitivity to heat

How are Stress and Thyroid Function Related?

Stress is a well-known trigger for various health issues, and the thyroid gland is no exception. Chronic stress can lead to an imbalance in cortisol levels, which may adversely affect thyroid hormone production and utilisation. This disruption can worsen existing thyroid conditions or even contribute to the onset of new thyroid issues. Managing stress through lifestyle changes, therapy, and relaxation techniques can be a crucial part of managing thyroid health.

When Do You Need Thyroid Surgery?

Thyroid surgery may be necessary when there are significant complications such as large goitres that cause breathing or swallowing difficulties, suspicion of thyroid cancer, or when thyroid nodules are potentially malignant. It is also considered when thyroid disorders do not respond to medicinal treatments. A thyroid specialist will only recommend surgery after a careful and thorough evaluation of your thyroid gland issues.

What are Thyroid Surgery Complications?

While thyroid surgery is a common procedure known for its safety and effectiveness, there are risks associated with it. As with any surgery, there are potential complications that patients need to be aware of before deciding to proceed. Here are the primary complications that might arise from thyroid surgery-

  1. Damage to the Parathyroid Glands- This can occur if these tiny glands located near the thyroid are accidentally affected during surgery. Such damage can lead to hypocalcemia, which is characterised by abnormally low levels of calcium in the blood.
  2. Injury to the Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve- This nerve, which runs close to the thyroid gland, can be injured during the procedure. Damage to this nerve can result in vocal cord paralysis, affecting your ability to speak.
  3. Excessive Bleeding or Infection- As with any surgical procedure, there is always a risk of bleeding and infection. Though these are typically well-managed with proper surgical technique and post-operative care.
  4. The Need for Lifelong Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy- Particularly if the entire thyroid gland is removed, you may need to take synthetic thyroid hormones for the rest of your life to perform the functions your thyroid once managed.

Get a Thyroid Blood Test at Anna Pharmacy

Symptoms of thyroid disorders can be quiet and easily confused with other health issues. This makes diagnosing thyroid problems tricky without specific tests like the thyroid blood test. So, click here to enquire with us about a thyroid blood test and keep a check on your thyroid health.