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Five myths and facts about the thyroid gland

Five myths and facts about the thyroid gland

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The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck, just below the area known as the Adam's apple (or popularly, jojo). Its health is essential for the proper functioning of the human body. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 750 million people around the world suffer from some type of thyroid disease. Of these, nearly 60% do not know that they have gland problems. Osmar Cascio Saito, MD, specialist in radiology and diagnostics at the CDB – Alliança laboratory and supervising physician in the radiology sector at USP das Clínicas Hospital, explains the myths and facts surrounding thyroid diseases and the importance of looking for any signs of dysfunction as an endocrinologist:

1. Only adults suffer from thyroid problems – Myth
Children can also have a gland disorder, which may cause them to have developmental problems. The most dangerous form of hypothyroidism is the congenital form, which occurs in newborns.child. If not diagnosed or treated, it can cause irreversible mental retardation. “It is important that parents monitor their children's development by regularly taking them to the pediatrician so that treatment can be started immediately if any symptoms appear.” Although rare, older children and adolescents with asymmetric cervical enlargement of the neck They may be associated with thyroid nodules, although the vast majority of them are benign, a small percentage may develop thyroid tumors (0.04 cases per million),” explains Dr. Osmar Saito.

two. I can find out if I have a disorder through blood tests – TRUE
Tests that detect changes in thyroid function include carefully measuring the dose of certain hormones in the bloodstream. “A blood test is not always enough to detect changes in the gland, and other tests, such as ultrasound, may be ordered to confirm the condition,” says Dr. Osmar Saito.

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3. Everyone with hypothyroidism gains weight. – Myth
Although weight gain is one of the clinical manifestations of hypothyroidism, there are many people with thyroid dysfunction who do not present this complaint. When this happens, weight gain is minimal. “Many patients with this disease gain weight due to the lifestyle they lead, but in most cases it is just a matter of changing habits,” says Dr. Osmar.

4. Extreme fatigue may be due to a change in the thyroid gland – TRUE
Some symptoms associated with hypothyroidism include excessive sleepiness, lack of energy, lethargy, and difficulty performing usual tasks and functions. “In addition to these symptoms, some patients also experience easy forgetfulness, sadness, constipation, dry skin and hair, and weak nails,” explains Dr. Osmar Saito.

5. Every thyroid nodule is cancer myth
The main sign of thyroid cancer is a mass (nodule) in the thyroid gland, but in most cases, this tumor shows no symptoms. “It is common for a doctor to discover nodules During a routine physical examination. Thyroid cancer is initially diagnosed using a fine needle (biopsy).) of a thyroid nodule or after its removal by surgery. But the majority of nodules are benign” (90%), concludes the radiologist.

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