What Happens When Your Thyroid Hormones are Imbalanced

Thyroid Management

1 in 10 Malaysians suffer from a thyroid disorder. Fortunately, thyroid diseases can be managed. Find out how to manage this condition.

What Is The Thyroid Gland?

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ that is located around the windpipe, at the front of the neck. It forms part of the body’s endocrine system and produces thyroid hormones responsible for regulating important bodily functions like your metabolic and heart rate.

When these hormone levels are imbalanced, it can lead to thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

What is a Doctor Home Visit?

What Are Common Thyroid Problems?

  • Hypothyroidism

    Hypothyroidism refers to an underactive thyroid, meaning the thyroid does not make enough thyroid hormones to affect your bodily processes. With hypothyroidism, your metabolic rate is slowed down and this can cause symptoms such as tiredness and inability to withstand cold temperatures.

  • Hyperthyroidism

    Hyperthyroidism refers to an overactive thyroid, meaning the thyroid makes more thyroid hormones than needed. Hyperthyroidism is a condition that is caused by inflammation in the thyroid, leading to symptoms such as goitre (swelling in neck caused by enlargement of thyroid gland). With hyperthyroidism, you may also develop an unusually fast or irregular heartbeat as this condition tends to accelerate the metabolic rate of your body.

Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism And Hyperthyroidism

Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid)

  • Easily tired
  • Depression and low moods.
  • Slow movements and thoughts
  • Muscle aches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Irregular or heavy menstrual periods
  • Dry and scaly skin
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Loss of libido
  • Vision problems

Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)

  • Nervousness, anxiety and irritability
  • Hyperactivity
  • Mood swings
  • Forgetfulness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Urinating frequently
  • Always thirsty
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Hoarse voice
  • Sensitivity to heat
  • Itchiness

What Causes Thyroid Conditions?

Thyroid conditions can be a result of many causes such as a family history of thyroid disease. They can be present at birth or begin later in life due to an imbalance in thyroid hormones. This imbalance can be caused by factors such as hormonal changes in the body as a result of occurrences like pregnancy.

Patients may also develop thyroid nodules (solid or fluid-filled growths made of thyroid cells in the thyroid gland), which is a sign of having a thyroid condition.

Due to inflammation caused by conditions like hyperthyroidism, thyroid nodules that were originally small can become large enough to require medical attention.

If thyroid conditions such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are not managed correctly and quickly, the patient may develop serious health conditions such as heart and kidney complications, muscle and nerve weakness and even infertility.

Who Is At Risk Of Suffering From A Thyroid Condition In Malaysia?

While everyone can suffer from a thyroid issue, your risk is increased if you fall into the following groups:

  • Female
  • Older than 60
  • Family history of thyroid disease
  • Have an autoimmune disease like Diabetes
  • Undergoing therapy with radioactive iodine (especially to neck and upper chest areas)
  • Gave birth in the last 6 months

How Is A Thyroid Condition Diagnosed?

A thyroid condition is typically discovered during a thyroid function test where your TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) and T3/T4 levels (thyroid hormone levels) are examined for any abnormalities. You can arrange for a blood test at home, and/or seek treatment for a thyroid condition if you have already been diagnosed previously.

The only way to be certain if you have a thyroid condition is by conducting a blood test to measure your thyroid hormone levels. Contact us to book a blood test at home. If you have been diagnosed with a thyroid condition, contact us for dedicated, individualised, and tailored patient care, monitoring of thyroid hormone levels and evidence-based treatment.

What Are Some Treatment Options For Thyroid Conditions In Malaysia?

In Malaysia, thyroid conditions can be managed by consulting an experienced doctor who is able to formulate the best treatment plan for you. This is done by reviewing lab test markers and administering and adjusting the right medication (i.e. hormone replacement therapy) to slow down thyroid hormone production (hyperthyroidism) or restore thyroid hormone levels to normal (hypothyroidism).

You may also require further scans to confirm the severity of your thyroid condition, or consider surgery to remove the thyroid gland in some cases depending on your doctor’s advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most common thyroid disease?
At what age do thyroid problems start?
Can a GP treat thyroid problems?
What is the best treatment for thyroid disorders?
What are early warning signs of thyroid problems?
How can I check my thyroid in Malaysia?
Can thyroid disease be managed?