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How many types of thyroid gland? Causes and prevention

Written by hana

The thyroid gland, commonly referred to as the butterfly gland, is often overlooked. Yes, people rarely give importance to thyroid health, but it does a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure your overall health. Thyroid diseases are spreading all over the world, which is cause for concern.

Although thyroid disease is very common and can be seen easily, many people do not know what it is. In simple terms, thyroid disease is a medical disorder that affects the function of the thyroid gland. Therefore, it is necessary to take effective steps to reduce the risks of abnormal secretion of hormones and to better understand their types in order to deal with the disease in its early stages. So let’s explore the different types of thyroid disorders!

The importance of the thyroid gland

One of the body’s primary glands, the thyroid gland, is located in the front of the neck and controls almost all bodily functions and hormone secretion.

For example, the thyroid gland secretes two important hormones, T3 and T4, which help the body convert the food you eat into the energy the body needs. The thyroid gland also plays a vital role in sleep patterns, weight management, and mood swings.

Thyroid diseases and their types

Abnormal functioning or secretion of thyroid hormones can indicate a thyroid disorder. According to research, about 42 million individuals suffer from various thyroid diseases. One individual at a time may be diagnosed with one or more of these diseases, each with distinct symptoms.


Hyperthyroidism is a thyroid disease characterized by an overactive thyroid gland. As a result, the gland produces an excess of thyroid hormones, which leads to symptoms such as increased appetite, tremors, sensitivity to heat, goiter, anxiety, diarrhea, irritability, and rapid heartbeat.


Hypothyroidism Refers to an underactive thyroid gland. As a result, the thyroid gland does not produce enough T4 hormones for normal function, which leads to symptoms such as weight gain, constipation, fatigue, low energy, cold, slow heart rate, and dry skin.

Read more: Hypothyroidism – Diet plan, causes, and symptoms


A goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland. It can be due to an iodine deficiency and, in rare cases, may cause airway pressure, difficulty swallowing, or blood vessel compression due to structural abnormalities.

Thyroid nodules or tumors

Thyroid nodules can be benign or cancerous and present with several symptoms similar to those of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

It occurs when there is a long-term deficiency of iodine or due to the presence of small nodule-like elements in the old gland. In rare cases, the nodules grow larger, causing breathing and swallowing difficulties.

Graves’ disease

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune condition that affects the thyroid gland. In this condition, the thyroid gland secretes an excess of hormones responsible for regulating metabolism, which leads to serious complications.

Hashimoto’s disease

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or Hashimoto’s disease, is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland.

It can lead to the gland being unable to produce the hormones needed to regulate metabolism, leading to hypothyroidism. Although it can affect people of all ages, Hashimoto’s disease is most common in middle-aged women.

Thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer is a rare type that occurs when primary thyroid problems are left untreated. There are different types of thyroid cancer, including anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, follicular thyroid carcinoma, medullary thyroid carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma.

The best way to ensure the health of the thyroid gland

Prevention is better than cure, as the saying goes. However, there are some natural tips for improving thyroid function and health. Among them:

Playing sports

According to various studies, regular exercise has many benefits, including the release of thyroid hormones. Specifically, exercising at least three times a week for 30-40 minutes has been shown to help regulate thyroid production and counter various side effects caused by hypothyroidism.

balanced diet

Aim to eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes to boost your thyroid function.

Increase intake of thyroid-supporting minerals

Iodine deficiency is the main cause of hypothyroidism. Selenium and zinc can also support thyroid health. Increasing intake of these minerals through dairy products, eggs, seafood, brown rice, legumes, almonds, and pumpkin seeds is vital to maintaining gland health.

Vitamin D

To ensure that your thyroid gland is in optimal condition, focus on eating foods rich in vitamin D such as salmon, tuna, egg yolks and dairy products.

Limit exposure to toxins

Reduce your exposure to toxins by quitting smoking, purifying your drinking water, and choosing organic food sources. Toxins such as mercury, pesticides, chlorine, and fluorine can damage glands, suppress hormone production, and prevent proper function.

HealthifyMe note

Iodine is necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. If you do not have enough iodine in your diet, your body cannot produce enough thyroid hormone, which can lead to thyroid disorders. To get enough iodine, eat foods like spinach, seafood, eggs, etc.


A sedentary lifestyle and stressful work culture have put extra stress on the thyroid gland, affecting almost everyone differently. It is rare to prevent the onset of thyroid disorders.

However, additional complications of various thyroid disorders can be avoided by diagnosing the condition early and adhering to an appropriate treatment plan.

In addition, being aware of thyroid disease and following the right lifestyle will help you improve thyroid health and lead a normal life.

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