The main thyroid problems: diseases and conditions of the thyroid

The thyroid It is a gland that is located in the neck, just above the clavicle and in front of the trachea, which has a curious shape that resembles that of a butterfly. It is a endocrine glandwhose main function is that of produce hormones. In this case, Thyroid hormones control the rhythm of many activities of our body, such as how fast our hearts beat or the speed with which calories are burned.

It has two lateral "lobes" joined by a narrow strip of fabric. In most cases it is not possible to feel or see the thyroid gland. However, when some thyroid problems As for example certain conditions or thyroid diseases it is possible to observe a bulge in this area of ​​the neck, especially if it increases in size.

As many doctors and health specialists say, Thyroid problems increase especially after 40 years of age, and tend to be more frequent in women than in man. In fact, it is estimated that they are more frequent between 8 and 10 times in women.

What are the main thyroid problems?

There are several conditions, diseases and problems that can affect the thyroid directly, which means that they influence a malfunction of the same producing not only certain symptoms that can help to recognize thyroid problems in themselves, but also problems of health. The most common are the following:


It occurs when the thyroid gland produces more thyroid hormone of what our body really needs, producing an acceleration of the metabolism. It is more common in women and in people over 60 years of age, appearing in turn especially in those people who have thyroid problems.

Among the most common causes we can mention: excessive consumption of iodine or synthetic thyroid hormone, presence of thyroid nodules, thyroiditis and Graves' disease (an autoinmine disorder).


On this occasion, the opposite occurs with hyperthyroidism: it occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, which slows down the metabolism.

It tends to be more common than hyperthyroidism, so hypothyroidism is more common in people with Hashimoto's disease (an autoimmune disorder), people over 60, women and people with thyroid problems (for example, in case of thyroiditis, congenital hypothyroidism) or the surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid.


It consists of the increase in the size of the thyroid gland, which can cause different discomforts and health problems such as difficulty swallowing and breathing, coughing and hoarseness.

There are different causes that can cause the enlargement of the thyroid, from the existence of a deficiency of iodine to an inflammation of the thyroid by thyroiditis or infections, passing through some autoimmune thyroid disease, tumors (benign and malignant), congenital alterations or infiltrative diseases.


The thyroiditis Consists of the swelling or inflammation of the thyroid. Its causes are actually very varied: caused by drugs, by bacteria or other infectious organisms, by radiation, by antibodies that attack the thyroid after childbirth (after pregnancy), hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, by viral infection or by Hashimoto's disease .

Autoimmune diseases

There are several diseases that can affect the thyroid in an autoimmune way. There are basically two:

  • Graves disease: it is the most common autoimmune disease, being in turn the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. It is mainly due to an abnormal response of the immune system that causes the thyroid gland to produce too much thyroid hormone.
  • Hashimoto's disease: is a disease in which the immune system begins to attack the thyroid gland, causing it to swell and become irritated, so that it can not produce hormones normally.

Images | ISTOCKPHOTO / THINKSTOCK This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor.

Understanding Autoimmune Thyroid Disease (February 2024)