The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck. This gland is responsible for regulating the chemical processes in the cells, the process of converting food into energy, and the use of this energy by the body. It is further responsible for regulation of the metabolism and the use of oxygen in the body. For performing these responsibilities, the thyroid gland secretes hormones called triiodothyronine and thyroxine. If these hormones are not secreted in the required quantities, the functions of the body get affected. This implies that the thyroid gland is a vital gland. However, like all the other organs and glands in the body, it is also susceptible to problems. Enlargement of the gland, is one such problem.
This condition is also known as a goiter. This enlargement is caused due a number of causes like iodine deficiencies, medications, hereditary factors, Grave's disease etc. It leads to abnormal thyroid activity, and can happen to anyone, and may be slight or significant. As there is no change in the appearance of the person, and in some cases there might not be a swelling from the outside, it is difficult to detect this condition.
Commonly Observed Symptoms
Not an uncommon symptom, it is very prominent in case the enlargement is severe. Due to the swelling, the esophagus and the wind pipe get compressed which leads to coughing and the sensation of being unable to breathe properly.
Pain in the joints and muscle are also symptoms of an enlarged thyroid. The person feels fatigued and tired due to the muscle weakness and pain. The frequency of muscle cramps, in hands and legs, increases. There is a high possibility of the person facing tendonitis too. It is recommended that if a person experiences joint pain, and is not able to detect the cause of these issues, then he/she must consult the doctor so as to avoid further complications.
It is a high-pitched whistling sound that is caused due to the narrowing of wind pipe. Sometimes, the person may make very loud breathing sounds while inhaling as well as exhaling.
Compression of the esophagus and the wind pipe causes a difficulty in swallowing. If the person finds it difficult to swallow food and if he/she is not suffering from any throat problems, then it is necessary to consult the doctors and get examined.
This is caused due to the obstruction of the blood flow in the veins. Sudden head jerks will also cause dizziness. It can be accompanied by a feeling of confusion (disorientation).
Other symptoms include shortness of breath, gagging, hoarseness, and neck lumps. In some cases bowel obstruction is also a symptom.
Though these symptoms may not sound serious, they cannot be ignored. If the person cannot ascribe these symptoms to any other health issues, then it is necessary to get diagnostic tests done. If the tests show an enlarged thyroid gland, then the treatments need to start on time to avoid thyroid cancer and other further complications.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.