To raise awareness of thyroid disorder, Merck Inc.
held a bloggers event at the Holiday Inn Makati.
Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck—below and behind your Adam's apple. A healthy thyroid typically weighs about one ounce. The thyroid's function is to produce thyroid hormone which is essential for all your body's functions.
Dr. Nemencio Nicodemus, Jr., who is the President of the Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, as well as a Professor in the UP College of Medicine and the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, gave an informative talk on what the thyroid is, as well as the symptoms of thyroid disease.
Different Thyroid Conditions
The most common thyroid condition is hypothyroidism, which refers to a condition where you do not have enough thyroid hormone. It has a number of causes:
- Hashimoto's thyroiditis - an autoimmune condition that causes impairment or destruction of the thyroid gland.
- Post-surgical hypothyroidism - after all or part of the thyroid gland has been surgically removed.
- Post-ablation hypothyroidism - results after radioactive iodine treatment (RAI) used for thyroid cancer, Graves' disease, and in some cases of hypothyroidism and nodules.
- Congenital hypothyroidism - when a baby is born without a thyroid gland or with a malformed gland that is not capable of producing enough thyroid hormone.
- Iodine-deficiency hypothyroidism - due to a deficiency of iodine in the diet.
- Drug and supplement-induced hypothyroidism - prescription medications and supplements that have the ability to cause hypothyroidism.
- Goitrogen-induced hypothyroidism - very high consumption of raw goitrogens—foods that have chemicals in them that slow the thyroid.
- Secondary/central hypothyroidism - due to a defect in the functioning/communications of the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus.
- Traumatic hypothyroidism - serious trauma to the neck, such as whiplash or breaking the neck, has been linked to the onset of hypothyroidism.
- Hypothyroidism of unknown origin/idiopathic hypothyroidism - there are cases where the thyroid becomes underactive and no other underlying causes or diseases have been identified.
This refers to a condition where the thyroid gland is overproducing thyroid hormone. It also has a number of causes:
- Autoimmune Graves' disease - the most common cause of hyperthyroidism.
- Autoimmune Hashimoto's disease - sometimes causes periods of temporary hyperthyroidism.
- Iodine-excess hyperthyroidism - results from overexposure or overconsumption of iodine.
- Drug and supplement-induced hyperthyroidism - results from several prescription drugs as well as certain over-the-counter supplements.
- Toxic multinodular disease - a condition that frequently causes overproduction of thyroid hormone.
- Thyroiditis - certain forms can cause periods of hyperthyroidism.
- Pituitary-induced hyperthyroidism - where the thyroid gland can become overstimulated by the pituitary gland and produce excessive amounts of thyroid hormone.
- Thyroid nodules - in some cases they can trigger overactivity of the surrounding thyroid gland, causing hyperthyroidism. They can also, on their own, produce thyroid hormone.
The key risk factors for thyroid disease include:
Iodine deficiency or excess
Exposure to radioactivity or radioactive fallout
Overconsumption of soy and goitrogenic foods
Surgery or trauma to the neck area
Pregnancy or recent childbirth
Personal or family history of autoimmune disease
Patients with hypothyroidism, or too little thyroid hormone, tend to have slower metabolism: they gain weight despite not eating much, move and speak slowly, feel tired and have depressed thoughts, cannot tolerate cold, and have irregular menstrual periods. On the other hand, patients with hyperthyroidism, or too much thyroid hormone, will have hyperactive metabolism: they lose weight despite having good appetite, have heart palpitations, irritable thoughts and insomnia, have sweating and heat intolerance, and can have tremors in their hands.
www.thyroid.ph. This is an online repository of information where people can learn more about thyroid disorders. The website also contains useful guides which can help people check themselves for symptoms of thyroid disorders, such as goiter, hyperthyroidism, or hypothyroidism.
Everything in your body relies on thyroid hormone—including digestion, the growth of your hair and nails, your sex drive, and the function of your organs and glands. Your brain, heart, and metabolism are especially dependent on the right levels of thyroid hormone to function properly and well.
The thyroid operates in a feedback loop with your pituitary gland.
Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company with headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany. Merck is a leading science and technology company that works to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions.