Q: Thanks doc, this is so helpful but may I ask what causes PCOD and hyperthyroidism, thanks
A: PCOD is an example of a pathological cyst.
What’s a pathological cyst? Let’s start from the beginning…
Ovaries are small bean-shaped organs on either side of your womb. Every month, your ovaries develop sacs called follicles from where eggs are released monthly and female sex hormones produced. After the egg is released every month, the sac disintegrates. But sometimes, the egg is not released and the sac remains or the egg is released and the sac does not disintegrate. This follicle becomes the fluid-filled cyst sac. Usually this is not a problem as it could form during every menstrual cycle and usually resolves on its own. These cysts are called the functional cysts. However, these cysts could get very big and in some instances become twisted or they could rupture causing problems. This latter type is called pathological cyst.
Examples of pathological cysts occur in Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) and endometriosis. In the former, small cysts appear all over the surface of the ovary and is also associated with irregular menstruation and high hormonal levels. In endometriosis, the tissues of the uterus (womb) are found outside of the uterus. These two pathological cysts are associated with fertility problems. Functional cysts are hardly associated with fertility issues except they become extremely large.
Treatment depends on your particular situation. Your doctor could order serial scans to continually observe the size of the cysts and see if they reduce in size. Another treatment option is the use of birth control pills to prevent the development of more cysts in future menstrual cycles. The final option is surgery. Your doctor will determine what option works best for you.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition that occurs when your body produces too much thyroid hormones. These hormones are usually produced by a butterfly shaped organ located at the front of your neck, called the thyroid gland. These thyroid hormones produced typically control the rate at which the body converts food t energy (metabolic rate) and also controls a whole lot of other cells and tissues like your bones (the hormones determine how your body incorporates calcium into your bones), the rate of your heart beats, your muscle contraction, cholesterol levels etc
Most cases of hyperthyroidism is caused by Graves’ Disease in which the body no longer recognizes the thyroid gland as part of it and produces antibodies to fight it. In response, the thyroid gland produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormones.
As in the case above, there may not be any family history though it is known to run in families.
Thus in hyperthyroidism, you may have no symptoms (leading to a chance discovery) or symptoms would include fast heart beats/palpitations, swelling of the thyroid gland which is seen as a neck swelling (goiter). Irregular periods.The higher than normal metabolic rate would lead to symptoms like increased appetite, weight loss, sweating and increased sensitivity to heat, restlessness, tremors, tiredness, difficulty sleeping etc. In Graves’ Disease, there are also eye symptoms which include protrusion of the eyeballs, red and swollen eyelids, watering of the eyes and double vision.
The doctor will examine the person with symptoms and run blood tests to check for the level of thyroid hormones. Treatment could be with medications or through surgery or a combination of both.
You will need blood tests regularly though to monitor the level of your thyroid hormones.
Depending on your degree of weight loss, you may need to have a dietician walk you through your diet paces and ensure that you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D. Wearing sunglasses, using eye drops that moisten the eye (artificial tears) and ensuring that the head is elevated when sleeping or lying down will help reduce the symptoms of Graves’ Disease. If you smoke, stop…this may help prevent developing Graves’ Disease or prevent the eye problems associated with it, if you already have the disease.
Treatment for hyperthyroidism is usually effective and so you should be able to live a normal life.
Happy Workers’ Day, everyone 😀