Shocking Thyroid Disease Symptoms Revealed!
In today’s blog post, I’m going to talk about the symptoms of thyroid disease. I’ll discuss the different types of thyroid disease, and I’ll compare the symptoms of Graves disease to the symptoms of cocaine intoxication.
On March 4th, 2019, Wendy Williams returned to her show after a two-month leave of absence. The queen of hot topics became a hot topic herself. Now, the rumors around town say that her husband allegedly has a mistress and that this mistress has just allegedly had his baby. So when Wendy returned to the show, I sat there just waiting to see if she would spill her own tea. However, Wendy said that her leave of absence was due to complications of thyroid disease and a shoulder injury. Well, several episodes later, Wendy revealed that she has a history of cocaine addiction, something she shared with us in the past and that she has been living in a sober house.
What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is the organ, the gland, that’s located right in the front of the neck. It’s located interior to, or in front of, the windpipe, the trachea, and it’s right above the collarbone, your clavicles.
The thyroid is responsible for regulating your metabolism, so it controls how one uses and store energy. When a person has thyroid disease, they can either have an overactive thyroid, like in Graves disease, which Wendy Williams says that she has, or they can have an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism.
Oftentimes, thyroid disease is caused by an autoimmune disorder. An autoimmune disorder occurs when the body’s antibodies, instead of attacking the bacteria and viruses and germs of the outside world, those antibodies turn on you and attack your own system. So in many cases of thyroid disease, the body’s immune system is attacking the thyroid and making it either overactive or underactive.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid is underactive. When you have insufficient thyroid hormone being produced, it can occur in the case of an autoimmune disorder like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It can also occur if a person has had the thyroid removed, or a thyroidectomy, such as in the case of thyroid cancer.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism:
- Slow speech,
- Slow movement,
- Slow heart rate.
- It can also be associated with swollen ankles, and in severe cases, a mixed edema coma.
In addition to hypothyroidism being associated with abnormal menstrual cycles, it can cause other issues, specifically in women. Hypothyroidism has been linked to miscarriages. In cases where the pregnant mother has hypothyroidism, it can cause congenital maladies in the newborn baby, associated with intellectual disabilities.
Diagnosis of hypothyroidism
You diagnose hypothyroidism by a simple blood test, in addition to having a history and physical by your physician. In the blood test, you check for TSH, or thyroid-stimulating hormone, as well as free thyroxine or t4. Once it is diagnosed, especially with primary hypothyroidism, you’re able to be treated by thyroid supplementation, levothyroxine. Some limited studies suggest that selenium supplementation helps with hypothyroidism as well.
Some symptoms of cocaine intoxication or long-term cocaine use:
- Increase in heart rate,
- Increase in blood pressure,
- Unintentional weight loss.
Some symptoms of hyperthyroidism or Graves disease:
Increased heart rate
meaning that your heart arteries tighten, and that puts you at risk for a heart attack.
When the largest artery in your body just dissects and you bleed out, and you typically don’t do well.
There can be neurological complications with cocaine use, such as seizures, a coma, and a stroke.
Perforated nasal septum:
This means that cartilage that separates your nostrils can literally get a hole worn into it from the chronic use of cocaine going in the nose.
For people who smoke crack, crack has to be heated up, it has to be hot, and so you could get pharyngeal burns or burns of the throat, or even heat damage to your lungs.
where even if everyone is feeling cool, you might be hot. You have a heat intolerance.
Also known as abnormally frequent bowel movements. In women who have Graves disease, they can have abnormal menstrual cycles.
this is when the eyes look very large like they’re bulging out, or like you can see all the whites around the irises.
The exophthalmos occurs in hyperthyroidism when there’s a swelling of the eye muscles that actually push the eyeballs out to make them protrude. Wendy Williams has had that. She shared it. Plus, if you’ve watched her show over the years, you can see sometimes when her exophthalmos is acting up.
So, these are a couple of symptoms that I think that most people can agree with that Wendy Williams has demonstrated. So the question – cocaine intoxication versus hyperthyroidism. For everyone who’s been asking me if I still believe in Wendy that she has Graves disease, my answer is now yes. It’s still yes.
what is a goiter?
Probably most people have heard of it, but you may not be sure of what it is. So a goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland. It can either be an evenly enlarged gland, or you can have a diffuse border, or it can be a bumpy enlargement or a nodular goiter.
Goiters can be caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or hypothyroidism. Goiters can also be caused by Graves disease or hyperthyroidism. How do you treat a goiter? Well, it depends on the underlying cause.
Consult your physician, and once the underlying cause of your thyroid disease is treated, perhaps the goiter will get better. But in some cases, it may even require a thyroidectomy or a partial thyroidectomy, where the thyroid gland actually has to be surgically removed.
How do you know if you have a goiter?
Well, you may be able to outright look in the mirror and see that your thyroid gland is enlarged. That area right in the front of your neck may be enlarged. If you have a large goiter, you may have symptoms such as dysphagia or difficulty swallowing, given that the thyroid is sitting right there in front of your esophagus, that tube between your mouth and stomach.
Other symptoms include dyspnea or shortness of breath, which makes sense, given that the thyroid is also in front of your windpipe, your trachea. And if you have a large goiter, you may experience obstructive sleep apnea, where your airway is being blocked, especially when you’re lying down at night.
Another thyroid issue is thyroid nodules.
A thyroid nodule is a round growth within the thyroid. Now, it can be totally benign and harmless, but it does need to be evaluated because it could be cancerous or have some other type of pathology. You must consult your physician or your endocrinologist to have your thyroid nodules examined.
Your physician will examine your neck and kind of palpate the nodule to see if it feels smooth or if it feels irregular, and they will usually order some type of imaging, like a thyroid ultrasound, to help them see what that nodule looks like and if it’s suspicious for something that’s malignant.
Oftentimes, your endocrinologist may decide to do an FNA or a fine needle aspiration. In that procedure, they actually aspirate or remove the contents of the nodule with a fine needle, and they’re able to see if the nodule is benign or if there’s some cancerous tissue within it.
If you have hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid, and you have nodules, then your physician may also order a thyroid scan to help assess whether or not your thyroid nodule is producing excess thyroid hormone.
This ends my overview of thyroid disease. We’ve talked about hyperthyroidism, and we’ve discussed how the symptoms of cocaine intoxication overlap with symptoms of hyperthyroidism. We’ve also talked about certain symptoms of thyroid disease that are specific to women, such as abnormal menstrual cycles. And even though thyroid disease tends to be more common in women, remember men, you can also get thyroid disease. So make sure you are following up with a physician.