Thyroid is a small but very important gland for digestion system located in the middle of your lower neck which creates thyroid hormones. The two essential thyroid hormones produced by the thyroid are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormonesenter the blood and are carried to tissues located throughout the body.
There are so many functions of thyroid hormones. These hormones help the body to use energy and control a number of activities of human’s health system. Thyroid hormones control breathing, how fast the body burns calories, and even how fast the heart beats.
These hormones are also involved in processes such as helping the body stay warm and keeping the brain, heart muscles, and other organs working properly.
A small gland in the brain called the pituitary gland which is responsible for controlling thyroid hormone levels in the blood. This gland builds the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which stimulates the thyroid to produce thyroid hormones.
TSH levels in the bloodstream rise or fall depending on whether enough hormones are made to meet the body's needs. As thyroid hormone levels go up or down, the pituitary gland drops or raises TSH production in response. When the gland releases too many or too few hormones, thyroid disorders can occur.
As narrated by the University of California, San Diego Health Center, around 20million Americans currently have some form of thyroid disease. Both overactive and under active thyroid glands can lead to a variety of serious health problems
Thyroid storm does not occur at once to a person. This disorder is a systemic process of your Body. So we have discussed about thyroid storm in three segments in our article.
Segments are as follows:
1. Hyperthyroidism and diagnosis
2. Graves' disease, diagnosis and treatment
3. Thyroid storm, diagnosis and Treatment
1. Hyperthyroidism and DiagnosisHyperthyroid symptoms
1.1 What is hyperthyroidism?
The term hyperthyroidism refers to inappropriately elevated thyroid function. It is a thyroid disorder that occurs when the thyroid makes too much of the hormone thyroxine. An overactive thyroid can cause many body functions to speed up.
The overall incidence of hyperthyroidism is estimated between 0.05% and 1.3%, with the majority consisting of sub-clinical disease. A population-based study in the United Kingdom and Ireland found an incidence of 0.9 cases per 100,000 children younger than 15 years, showing that the disease incidence increases with age. The prevalence of hyperthyroidism is approximately 5-10 times less than hypothyroidism.
Thyroid storm is a rare disorder. Approximately1-2% of patients with hyperthyroidism progress to thyroid storm.
1.2 Causes of hyperthyroidism:
There are many conditions that can cause hyperthyroidism, including:
- Viral-infections, autoimmune conditions, or having a period following childbirth -these can inflame the thyroid
- Overactive thyroid nodules
- Tests that use iodine
- Eating too many foods containing iodine
- Consuming large amounts of thyroid hormone
- Tumors of the ovaries or testes
1.3 Symptoms of hyperthyroidism:
Hyperthyroidism can mimic other health problems. This can make it difficult for doctors to diagnose. They often look for a wide variety of signs and symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, these symptoms include:
- Sudden weight loss, even when appetite and diet remain the same
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Increased appetite
- Trembling in hands and fingers
- Changes in menstruation
- Increased sensitivity to heat
- Changes in bowel patterns
- An enlarged thyroid gland
- Tiredness-and weakness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Thinner skin or brittle hair
Some people may not have any symptoms at all, which makes the disorder even more difficult to pinpoint.
2. Graves' disease, Diagnosis and TreatmentGraves' disease
2.1 What is Graves' disease?
Graves'disease is the leading cause of hyperthyroidism. According to the Graves' Disease and Thyroid Foundation, about 2-3 percent of the population - about 10million people - have this disorder.
The Virginia Mason Institute state that as many as 70-80 percent of patients with hyperthyroidism have Graves' disease. It is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. In response, the thyroid makes too much thyroid hormone.
The pituitary gland releases the hormone that helps control thyroid function. Thethyrotropin receptor antibody (TRAb) is linked with Graves' disease, and it works like the regulatory pituitary hormone. As a result, the TRAb overrides the normal regulation of the thyroid and causes hyperthyroidism.
2.2 Causes of Graves' disease:
Anyone can develop Graves' disease, but there are a number of factors that increase the risk, including:
- A family history of Graves' disease or other thyroid or autoimmune disorders
- Other autoimmune disorders: People inflicted with other immune disorders such as type1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis has an increased risk
- Emotional or physical stress: Stressful life events or illnesses can trigger an onset of Graves' disease
- Pregnancy:Pregnancy or a recent childbirth can increase the risk of the disorder in some women.
- Smoking:Cigarette smoking can affect the immune system and increase the risk of Graves'disease.
- Women are also more likely to develop the disorder than men. According to the Office on Women's Health, it affects 10 times more women than men, and often strikes while they are in their 20s and 30s.
2.3 Symptom of Graves disease:
Graves disease may also occur in children with Down syndrome or Turner syndrome and in association with other autoimmune conditions, including the following:
- Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
- Addison disease
- Type I diabetes
- Chroniclymphocytic (Hashimoto) thyroiditis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Chronic active hepatitis
- Nephrotic syndrome