The thyroid gland, is between the larynx and the trachea, at the base of the frontal area of the neck. It is fundamental in our body, because it produces and secretes thyroid hormones, directly controlled by the hypophysis. These are necessary to make the body grow and develop.
Malfunctions in the thyroid have a significant impact on the quality of life. We asked Professor Andrea Lania, Supervisor of Endocrinology and Medical Andrology at Humanitas.
Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism
“An excessive or insufficient production of thyroid hormones affects the quality of life and thus the well-being of patients. Hyperthyroidism, is the excess presence of thyroid hormones,that causes accelerations in the metabolic processes. Some of its symptoms may be, intolerance to the heat, fatigue, weight loss, palpitations, restlessness, shaking and irritability.
On the contrary, hypothyroidism happens when the production of thyroid hormones is insufficient. In this case, patients are intolerant to the cold, moody, unable to concentrate, fatigued and feel psychomotor slowness”, Professor Lania explains.
Hypothyroidism: substitutive therapy with levothyroxine
“If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should go to your doctor. In fact, an early diagnosis is paramount to prescribe patients the most effective treatment.
Those who suffer from hypothyroidism get a pharmacological treatment. This is a substitutive therapy that uses levothyroxine, the main thyroid hormone, that aims is restoring the normal thyroid state and thus the patient’s well-being and quality of life.
Patients also have to be regularly monitored with endocrinological follow-ups, in order to customize the therapy according to their actual needs.
Instead, those who suffer from hyperthyroidism will get a different therapy, that depends on the causes, the patient’s age and the severity of the clinical signs”, the professor says.