I was sitting comfortably in my favorite armchair drinking coffee, thinking about everyday matters. At some point, I was inspired to describe a problem I have had for many years. It concerns my health, and more specifically, diseases related to my thyroid. As you probably know, there is a lot of information on this subject around us and the internet, but unfortunately, it is mainly described as an issue in women. I found out the hard way that this is not the case.
Is it a modern disease?
As I have been struggling with this disease for about 10 years, I try to take an interest and look for new ways to make life easier for myself and others. I would like to invite you to read this article because I hope that it will show many new people with this disease, as well as others, the direction in which they should go to feel healthy and happy despite adversities.
As I suffer from a thyroid problem, or more precisely hyperthyroidism, I have tried to explore this subject as much as I can, and I would like to share my views on it with you. Because there is more and more progress in the world also in the field of diagnosis of various diseases, and in recent years there are more and more cases related to thyroid ailments.
So what is hyperthyroidism and what is it caused by?
One type of thyroid disease is hyperthyroidism, which occurs when the thyroid gland produces more hormones than our body needs.
Can it be treated and how? The treatment of hyperthyroidism is quite tedious and long-lasting and is mainly based on the administration of medication, which sometimes has to be taken for the rest of your life. Also in my case, it was not without medication and its dosage, which often had to be changed:
Types of thyroid diseases:
- Thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s disease)
- Thyroid cancer
Below I will try to give you a brief overview of each of these conditions, perhaps if you have a suspicion of this disease and have not yet checked it is a good idea to see a specialist who will order the necessary tests.
These are of course only some of the diseases of this organ, as there are quite a few of them, but I have tried to describe the ones you hear about most often.
1) Hypothyroidism – is a disorder of the thyroid organ, which consists of a too-small production of the thyroid hormone than a healthy organism needs. The most common form of hypothyroidism especially in women, but also in men or children is Hashimoto’s disease.
- chronic fatigue
- weight gain
- dry skin
- problems with getting pregnant
- menstrual problems
- sensitivity to cold
Hypothyroidism is quite a serious problem, and if left untreated can lead to very serious consequences. These can include heart disease or infertility, and some severe cases can lead to coma. Treatment involves regular administration of hormones to restore balance to the body.
2) Hashimoto’s disease – occurs often in hypothyroidism.
It is an autoimmune disease, in which our body attacks healthy organs, in this case, the thyroid gland, sending antibodies against its tissues. It is one of the most common causes of hypothyroidism and is named after the Japanese surgeon Hakaru Hashimoto, who discovered and was the first to describe this type of thyroiditis.
Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to determine the exact cause of this condition, but it is an autoimmune disease (that is, one in which the body and its immune system, destroys its cells and tissues), which often coexists with other diseases of this type: type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, vitiligo, malignant anemia, rheumatoid arthritis.
The treatment is the administration of the synthetic hormone levothyroxine, which supports and regulates the thyroid. Medication is also important, which I will talk about later in this post.
3) Hyperthyroidism – is when the thyroid gland produces too many hormones for the body’s needs. The work of the thyroid gland and the pituitary gland are closely linked; they are responsible for releasing the amount of TSH into the body (this is a glycoprotein hormone, produced by the pituitary gland).
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism are:
- weight loss
- intolerance to heat
- trembling hands
- excessive sweating
- nervous agitation
- increased heart rate
As with previous thyroid diseases, hyperthyroidism should not be underestimated because if untreated it can lead to serious complications such as:
- heart rhythm disturbances
- heart failure
- so-called thyroid storm
The treatment is also pharmacological, it is also important that the treated person has peace of mind and it is also advisable to follow a suitable diet. It is important to be systematic, to check the thyroid level, and to choose the right dosage of medicines to achieve the effects of the treatment.
4) Thyroid cancer – more precisely, thyroid tumors originate from cells of the thyroid gland. More than 90% are benign lesions called adenoids, and the occurrence of thyroid cancers is quite rare compared to other types. Unfortunately, thyroid cancer does not give any symptoms at first, but if you observe the following symptoms in yourself, you should visit your doctor.
These symptoms are:
- changes in your voice, including hoarseness
- a lump that can be felt through the skin on the neck
- difficulty swallowing
- sore throat and neck
- enlarged lymph nodes
It is well known that these cancers are more common in women than in men, but in recent years more and more men have been diagnosed with them. As in previous cases, pharmacological treatment should be implemented, as well as taking care of your diet. If nodules are detected on ultrasound, a biopsy should be done to check that the lesions are not malignant. The final solution to be taken is surgery to remove the nodule or diseased part of the thyroid gland, and constant intake of appropriate medication.
Sick thyroid in men, but how?
You have probably read in most articles that thyroid problems mainly affect women, I also used to think that it should not affect me, and yet I have been struggling with this disease for many years. Fortunately, apart from having an abnormal TSH level, I have not been diagnosed with nodules. I would like to tell you more about the symptoms, effects, and treatment for us guys.
As we already know, the thyroid gland is very important in our body, it looks like a big butterfly and weighs about 30 grams. It secretes very important hormones (T3, T4) and its main task is to regulate metabolism, it also determines our weight, mobility, and energy. It influences growth hormones and sex hormones. What symptoms should worry us? First of all, an important symptom is the so-called thyroid goiter, i.e. an enlarged throat at the location of this organ. Other symptoms include:
- shortness of breath
- difficulty swallowing
- excessive sweating
- weight loss or excessive weight gain
- hair loss
- erectile problems
- low testosterone
- loss of muscle mass
As we can see, this disease affects very many aspects of our health, which is why a quick diagnosis is so important. Gentlemen, do not be afraid to go to the doctors, and if something worries you, it is best to consult a specialist, let’s take care of ourselves.
One of the important examinations which must be carried out to confirm or exclude problems with the thyroid gland is ultrasonography, scintigraphy (radioisotopic examination of the thyroid gland), and, when any kind of nodule is detected, biopsy, i.e. taking a sample from the affected area and checking it for harmfulness. It is very important at the very beginning to check the TSH level and its markers FT3 and FT4. I check her level at least once a year, and if the dose of medication needs to be changed, then more often.
Treatment is often very individual, much depends on the stage of development and your condition. However, you should spend prophylactic holidays by the sea breathing in iodine and include in your diet foods rich in it (about diet in thyroid problems and what foods are healthy and what should be avoided you will read in the given article…). In addition to taking care of yourself and having regular check-ups, it is important to take the medication recommended by your doctor, the dose is important as well as the regularity. It is advisable to take these medicines on an empty stomach, at least one hour before a meal.
In summary, hyperthyroidism symptoms in men
As you can see there are a lot of these diseases, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, the main symptoms were nervousness and fast heart rate. It took some time before the diagnosis was correct, but now taking medication I can admit that I feel good, remember to pay attention to your body and what concerns you. It is also important to be diagnosed correctly, only after this can you start the appropriate treatment, which is sometimes a long process.
A diagnosed thyroid disease is not a sentence, and unfortunately, its causes are different and not yet fully understood, doctors all over the world are still working on the essence of this and other diseases. As for thyroid cancer statistics, I refer you to a site that described the research and incidence of thyroid cancer.
Let us also be careful what we eat, because nowadays there is a lot of poor quality food everywhere, much of which has little to do with health. Foods that should contain iodine, mainly fish, also have harmful heavy metals in them, so let us pay attention to what we eat. Let us remember that immunity comes mainly from what we eat…