The thyroid is a gland located between the larynx and the trachea, at the base of the front of the neck. It plays a fundamental role in our organism, because – under the direct control of the pituitary gland – it produces and secretes the thyroid hormones, necessary for the growth and development of the organism.
A thyroid malfunction has a significant impact on the quality of life. We talk about this issue with Professor Andrea Lania, Head of Endocrinology and Medical Andrology at Humanitas.
Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism
“Excessive or insufficient production of thyroid hormones affects the quality of life and thus well-being. Hyperthyroidism, or an excess of circulating thyroid hormones, is responsible for accelerating metabolic processes; it can lead to symptoms such as heat intolerance, fatigue, slimming, heart rate, restlessness, tremors and irritability.
In the case of hypothyroidism, however, the production of thyroid hormones is insufficient and the patient feels intolerance to cold, worsening mood, difficulty concentrating, fatigue and psychomotor slowing down,” explains Professor Lania.
Hypothyroidism, levothyroxine substitution therapy
“If these symptoms occur, consult your doctor. It is important to diagnose a thyroid disorder as soon as possible and to direct the patient towards effective treatment.
In case of hypothyroidism, the treatment is pharmacological. This is a replacement therapy with levothyroxine, the main thyroid hormone, which aims to restore a normal thyroid condition, with positive repercussions on the patient’s well-being and quality of life.
It is also important that the patient is monitored regularly, with an endocrinological check-up, so that the therapy is personalized according to his actual needs.
In the case of hyperthyroidism, however, the therapy depends on the cause of the hyperthyroidism, the age of the patient and the severity of the clinical manifestations,” the professor explains.