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The thyroid gland is a very small organ located on the front surface of the neck in its lower part, weighing 15-20 grams. Iron is so named because it is located in front of the thyroid cartilage of the larynx. It has two lobes linked by an isthmus.

The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones – thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which, being released into the blood, affect all cells and tissues of the body, regulate the speed of various metabolic processes. These hormones are responsible for many vital functions: it regulates the activity of the brain, nervous and cardiovascular systems, the gastrointestinal tract, affects reproductive function, the functioning of the mammary and sexual glands and much more.

Thyroid enlargement

To determine the volume of the thyroid gland using ultrasound, in the normal volume of the gland should not exceed 18 ml in women and 25 ml in men. An enlarged thyroid gland or “goiter” can be a sign of various thyroid gland diseases and can be accompanied by both a decrease and an increase in function. More common euthyroid goiter – an increase in the gland without disrupting its functions.

Endemic goiter

Endemic goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland that develops as a result of insufficient iodine intake in the body. Iodine comes to a person with food and water. Iodine is an important component of thyroid hormones and is necessary for their normal activity. If iodine intake is reduced, the thyroid gland compensates to increase the number of hormones in the body. The most dangerous iodine deficiency in the period of intensive growth of the child’s body, during puberty, pregnancy, and breastfeeding.

Nodular goiter

In the thyroid gland, nodular “knots” may occur. One of the predisposing factors of their development is iodine deficiency in the body. With nodular or multinodular goiter, thyroid function may be normal, elevated, or decreased. “Thyroid nodule” is not a diagnosis yet, many thyroid diseases can manifest as nodular goiter. All patients who have nodal lesions in the thyroid gland, which, according to ultrasound data, exceed 1 cm in diameter, must have a puncture biopsy to determine the cellular composition of the node.

Diseases of the thyroid gland, accompanied by a violation of its function

Hypothyroidism is an acute insufficiency of the thyroid gland, a disease in which the thyroid gland cannot produce hormones in the required amount, which leads to disruption and slowing down of metabolic processes in the body.

Many different signs may indicate hypothyroidism, such as fatigue, weakness, swelling of the face, dry skin, weight gain, memory loss, constipation, and chilliness. Hypothyroidism can be caused by many factors, the most common is chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto goiter) – a disease in which the gland is destroyed. Other causes of hypothyroidism are thyroid surgery and radioactive iodine treatment. Patients with insufficient thyroid function should receive replacement therapy.

The reverse process is also possible – hyperthyroidism – an excess activity of the thyroid gland in the production of hormones. This may be a short-term reaction to physical overstrain or mental overload, or the process may be sustainable, in this case, it is thyrotoxicosis.

Thyrotoxicosis – literally “thyroid hormone poisoning” – a condition caused by a persistent increase in thyroid hormone levels due to thyroid hyperactivity.

A person becomes irritable, tearful, restless, gets tired quickly, loses weight, despite a good appetite, his heartbeats, heart interruptions, excessive sweating, trembling hands or the whole body, the skin becomes moist and hot. Often there is a protrusion of the eyeballs, tearing begins, pain in the eyes.

The most common cause of thyrotoxicosis is diffuse toxic goiter (Grave disease) – an autoimmune disease that leads to an enlargement of the thyroid gland. More rarely, nodular diseases of the thyroid gland (toxic adenoma, Plummer’s disease) or its inflammation causes.

Diagnosis of thyroid diseases

Diagnosis of thyroid diseases is carried out by a doctor on the basis of an examination and anamnesis, laboratory tests (measurement of thyroid-stimulating hormone, evaluation of triiodothyronine, thyroxine, thyroglobulin content, uptake of radioactive iodine of the thyroid gland, various tests, thyroid gland, iodine uptake, various tests, thyroid gland, various tests and various tests and diagnosis of thyroid gland, assay of radioactive iodine, various tests and diagnosis of thyroid globulin, uptake of radioactive iodine antibodies) as well as ultrasound examination (ultrasound) of the thyroid gland, x-ray or computed tomography. If a tumor is suspected, a biopsy is performed.

If after reading this information you have any questions, be sure to contact a specialist.

Remember that only a qualified endocrinologist can prescribe the right treatment for you, select the necessary medications and monitor their effectiveness.