Thyroid Diseases Worldwide: Awareness, and Diagnosis

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More than 200 million patients suffer from thyroid disease worldwide. The consequences on general health of a disruption of this pillar of the endocrine system are numerous. What are they, and how do we treat them? Let’s explore.

The thyroid, a gland with multiple functions

Located at the front of the neck and known to have a butterfly shape, the thyroid is a gland of the endocrine system. Its role consists of producing and releasing numerous hormones into the blood circulation, which regulate several functions of the body and specific organs such as:

  • The quality of the functioning of our metabolism.
  • Hair and bone growth.
  • The weight.
  • The mood.
  • Body temperature.
  • Energy and muscular level.
  • The heart.
  • The digestive system.

What are the different thyroid diseases?

Consulting a thyroid specialist near me is vital in discerning the specific type of thyroid disease you may be experiencing. Particularly common in women (4 to 7 times more present than in men), these diseases are most of the time hereditary.

Hypothyroidism- Hypothyroidism is an underactivity of the thyroid. In this case, the gland produces fewer hormones than expected for the body to function normally. Its main symptoms are:

  • Thinner and brittle nails and hair.
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness.
  • Constipation.
  • Weight gain.
  • Swelling of the skin.
  • Increased sensitivity to cold.
  • Decrease in heart rate.
  • Memory problems.
  • Unusual depressive state.
  • Goiter: lump in the neck which corresponds to swelling of the thyroid.

 Hyperthyroidism- Also called thyrotoxicosis, this pathology corresponds to overactivity of the thyroid. The gland here produces more hormones than it should. Hyperthyroidism can manifest itself by:

  • Hair loss.
  • Weight loss.
  • Tremors.
  • Frequent diarrheal stools.
  • Increased sweating and heat intolerance.
  • Acceleration of heart rate.
  • Irregular menstrual cycles in women.
  • Nervousness, anxiety, and unusual insomnia.
  • The appearance of a goiter.


This disorder corresponds to inflammation of the thyroid, which can take several forms:

Acute infectious thyroiditis is generally of bacterial origin. Although rarer, it still appears in immunocompromised patients or, sometimes, following severe otitis or ENT cancer. It manifests suddenly, with swelling of the thyroid and painful signs of inflammation.

  • De Quervain’s subacute thyroiditis appears a few weeks after a nasopharyngitis infection. Sore throat, neck pain, fever, and unusual fatigue are the main symptoms. The area where the thyroid is located is swollen in places and painful to the touch.
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The main symptom of this disease is a goiter that forms. Painless, the thyroid is nevertheless hypertrophied due to certain antibodies’ increased and abnormal presence.
  • Other forms of thyroiditis exist, particularly affecting adolescents and women after childbirth or menopause.

The thyroid nodule- This common, benign disorder is characterized by the formation of one or more lumps in the thyroid. It mainly affects women aged over 50. Painless and asymptomatic, the presence of a thyroid nodule is generally discovered after a blood or radiological examination or during a surgical procedure carried out for another reason.

The thyroid nodule may be “cold,” or inactive with regard to hormone production, and therefore benign; “hot,” which means it secretes thyroid hormones in large quantities (hyperthyroidism); or even form a cyst composed of a set of thyroid cells, containing blood or fluid, and benign in most cases. But it can sometimes increase in size and become painful.

Thyroid cancer: a rare complication of thyroid nodules- This pathology can be detected through palpation or an imaging examination. Most of the time, this cancer is painless and unsuspected, but it sometimes causes a change in the voice (then more hoarse) or the formation of a goiter. Without early thyroid gland treatment, thyroid cancer can quickly invade nearby lymph nodes.

Thyroid diseases: What treatment?

Treatments are provided for each thyroid disorder, depending on the specific situation of each patient.

If you suspect thyroid disease, your doctor will refer you to a thyroid specialist doctor. Several steps will be necessary before making a diagnosis, in addition to the clinical examination (palpation of the thyroid) and medical history regarding your family history:

  • Thyroid assessment: composed of several biological analyses by blood test, it allows you to check the functioning of the thyroid.
  • Cervical and thyroid ultrasound is performed in order to study the internal structure of this particular area. The dimensions of the thyroid are then taken, as well as the detection of nodules or possible anomalies. Nearby lymph nodes are also observed to check for cancer.
  • Depending on the results of the ultrasound, a cell puncture, particularly within nodules, may be performed. The thyroid specialist Ropar (Punjab)may also decide to remove a complete nodule if it measures more than one centimeter. This examination generally takes place at the same time as the ultrasound, with a needle so fine that it does not require anesthesia.
  • A thyroid scan is performed if the TSH level is low on biological examination. Scintigraphy makes it possible to obtain a map of thyroid activity using a radioactive product. It also makes it possible to reveal the presence of a nodule that produces too many thyroid hormones.
  • A cervical CT scan and an MRI may also be prescribed if the examinations previously described have not allowed the endocrinologist to obtain sufficient information to make his diagnosis.

For tailored treatment, consult with a qualified thyroid treatment doctor who will guide you through the appropriate steps based on your specific condition.

In Summary

Thyroid diseases affect millions worldwide, impacting metabolism, mood, and more. Hypothyroidism results in fatigue and weight gain, while hyperthyroidism causes weight loss and anxiety. Thyroiditis, nodules, and rare thyroid cancer present further challenges. To address these conditions, consult a specialized thyroid specialist doctor. Proper care and early intervention can effectively manage thyroid disorders, ensuring better overall health.

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