The thyroid gland is an extremely important, but often underappreciated element of the human body. Violations in its functioning negatively affect health, well-being and quality of life. Meanwhile, according to experts, thyroid problems worldwide have more than 300 million people, but over 50% of them do not know about it.
To a greater extent, thyroid disorders affect women, but it is not uncommon for hormonal disorders in males.
- 1 What is the thyroid gland?
- 2 Thyroid disease in men and their symptoms
- 2.1 Hypothyroidism
- 2.2 Hyperthyroidism
- 2.3 Thyroid cancer
- 2.4 Thyroiditis
- 3 Photo of symptoms of thyroid disease in men
What is the thyroid gland?
The thyroid gland located at the base of the neck is a small butterfly-shaped gland that produces and secretes into the blood hormones of three types: thyroxine, triiodothyronine and calcitonin. They ensure the proper functioning of all organs and tissues. Iodine is the most important microelement necessary for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, so its adequate supply plays a big role in the normal functioning of this gland.
During the period of fetal development and during the first two years after birth, thyroid hormones affect the development of the brain. Their deficiency during the period of the prenatal period leads to permanent mental retardation.
In addition, thyroid hormones regulate growth and puberty. Throughout their life, they provide the production of thermal energy, have a great influence on mood and mental processes, the work of the heart, skeletal muscles, and the gastrointestinal tract.
Thyroid gland diseases in men and their symptoms
The glandular gland of men is anatomically different from that of the female. Any neoplasms on it are much more visible, which in turn facilitates the diagnosis of various pathologies.
There are two main types of disorders of the thyroid gland in men - hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Among other common disorders related to the structure and function of this gland are thyroid nodules, thyroiditis( especially Hashimoto's thyroiditis) and thyroid cancer.
Hypothyroidism of the thyroid gland is one of the most common diseases of this gland. It occurs when the thyroid gland is unable to synthesize the right amount of thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Their abnormal levels in the blood slow down the metabolism in the body, resulting in a feeling of cold, fatigue and depression. Men suffering from hypothyroidism, despite normal diet and physical activity may notice:
- weight gain;
- high blood pressure;
- and elevated cholesterol.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism are diverse and often resemble the symptoms of other diseases.
Difficulties are caused by the diagnosis of the latent form of hypothyroidism, since it can cause atypical symptoms of thyroid disease in men, such as memory impairment, thinking, bad mood, depression, chronic fatigue, weight gain, dry skin( especially on elbows and knees)and chills. These symptoms occur as a result of increased cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, which increases the risk of atherosclerosis and heart attack. Typical in this disease is also night blindness. In addition, men may experience a decrease in libido, impotence. But do not be very afraid, after the timely start of treatment, "male power" usually comes back.
- Intolerance to the cold environment. People with low levels of the thyroid hormone have cold and dry skin. Often, it can have a yellow tint.
- Hair starts to thin quickly. The nails become brittle. The extremities noticeably swell. The face is swollen, especially around the eyes. The thyroid gland increases in size, which is known as goiter.
- There may be muscle aches and cramps due to a slowed body movement and a constant sense of weakness. Also a symptom is constipation. Observed hoarseness of voice. In addition, there is often a ringing in the ears.
- Inability to maintain concentration and poor memory, which can lead to depression.
- Weight gain may occur. This should not be seen as a healthy amendment, because a person becomes more prone to infections.
However, the severity of these symptoms depends on how many people suffer from the condition.
Hyperthyroidism( thyrotoxicosis) is thyroid dysfunction, which develops as a result of overactive synthesis and release of thyroxin and triiodothyronine, which leads to an increased concentration in the blood. Too much thyroid hormone in the blood accelerates the metabolism in the body, as a result of which:
- weight loss;
- excessive excitability of nerve cells;
- muscle weakness.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism are not directly related to the level of thyroxine and triiodothyronine in the blood, but depend on the age category and the duration of the patient's disease. The bulk of people with hyperthyroidism complains about:
- a constant feeling of hunger, loss of sleep;
- joint pain( especially in the legs);
- impaired ability to concentrate;
- frequent urge to urinate;
- dyspnoea at physical exertion;
- sensitivity to heat and excessive sweating;
- itching itch.
Hyperthyroidism can lead to abnormalities in the cardiovascular system. This most often occurs in the elderly and is characterized by tiakimi symptoms, such as:
- pain in the coronary artery;
- atrial fibrillation;
- heart failure.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism in patients with Graves' disease are slightly different. Often they have bulging eyes, burning eyeballs, impaired color vision, enlarged goiter and swelling of the legs.
Thyroid cancer is a rare disease and occurs most often as a solid consistency tumor, accompanied by hoarseness, swollen glands on the neck.
Thyroid cancer usually does not cause dysfunction of the thyroid gland, does not lead to hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Symptoms that indicate thyroid cancer:
- the presence of one or more thyroid tumors, especially those with a tendency to increase;
- hoarseness due to irritation of the vocal cords;
- enlarged lymph nodes;
- shortness of breath;
Thyroiditis is a heterogeneous group of diseases that manifest themselves frequently:
- neck pain with irradiation in the ears and jaw,
- by thyroid enlargement and disruption of its activity.
The most common type is autoimmune disease - Hashimoto's thyroiditis, in which the body's immune cells attack the thyroid cells, identifying the latter as foreign. This disease is hereditary.
Hashimoto's disease is characterized by goiter and slowly developing hypothyroidism. Among the rare symptoms of the disease: extinct eyes, swelling and pain in the thyroid gland.
Thus, the thyroid gland of males is also susceptible to a variety of diseases, and their early diagnosis and timely treatment will avoid undesirable consequences. To do this, it is worthwhile to pay attention to suspicious symptoms on time.
Photo of symptoms of thyroid disease in men
Learn how all these diseases of the thyroid gland in men are treated.