Hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism and dangerous complications for patients


The thyroid gland is a vital organ that regulates the body’s metabolism and hormone levels. It is the largest endocrine gland in the body, weighing about 20-25 grams. It has a butterfly-like shape and is located at the base of the neck, between the C5 and T1 vertebrae. It is covered by a layer of skin and muscles in the front, and it lies next to the trachea in the back.

Definition of hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism

Thyroid hormones, such as Thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodo-thyronine (T3), are produced by the thyroid gland. These hormones have various effects on the human body, such as regulating the metabolism of different substances (lipids, glucose, vitamins, electrolytes, etc.), affecting the growth and development of the body, affecting the cardiovascular system, the reproductive system, the neuromuscular system, and so on. Thyroid hormone imbalance can cause serious health problems for the patient. Therefore, the effects of thyroid hormones on the human body is important, such as:

– Thyroid hormone regulates cellular metabolism in most tissues (except brain, retina, spleen and lung). This can raise the metabolic rate by 60-100% above the basal level. This involves increasing the number and size of mitochondria and enhancing ATP production, as well as increasing ion transport across cell membranes (Na+, K+)..

– Effects on protein, lipid, and glucose metabolism: Thyroid hormone affects almost all stages of protein, lipid metabolism (specifically lipids of storage tissues, fatty acids, cholesterol and lipoproteins), and glucose, increased blood glucose, insulin secretion.

– In addition, they also affect vitamin metabolism and metabolism. Thyroid hormone increases the concentration and activity of many enzymes and vitamins. When the hormone increases, it will increase the need to consume vitamins and vice versa. It also affects water metabolism and electrolyte metabolism in humans.

– Thyroid hormones affect blood vessels, heart rate and blood pressure. When hyperthyroidism causes vasodilation in most tissues in the body, the heart beats faster and systolic blood pressure increases, causing nervousness and fatigue.

– Besides, thyroid hormone is necessary for the development and maintenance of brain activity and muscle function. Hypothyroidism causes slowness of thinking. Potential to cause stress, anxiety and mental disorders.

– T3 and T4 are needed for the development of genital organs in youth and normal function in adulthood. Therefore, lack of thyroid hormone can cause complete loss of libido in men and cause polymenorrhea and menorrhagia in women.

– Thyroid hormone’s effect on body development is mainly shown during the child’s growing period. Thyroid hormone regulates and speeds up body growth, promoting maturation and brain development during the fetal period and in the first few years early.

In addition, in the space between thyroid follicles, parafollicular cells can be found, these cells secrete calcitonin, participating in the regulation of calcium metabolism in the body.

The thyroid gland is an important endocrine gland, and the largest in the body. (Pic: Freepik) (Pic: Freepik)

The thyroid gland needs iodine, an element found in food (most commonly table salt) and water to produce hormones. Like chloride, food iodine is absorbed from the digestive tract into the blood. Normally, most iodized salt is rapidly excreted by the kidneys, but only about one-fifth of the blood circulation enters thyroid cells and is used to synthesize thyroid hormones. Having too little or too much iodine in the body affects the level of thyroid hormones created and secreted, leading to some thyroid diseases such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

Hence, what are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, how are they similar and different? Symptoms and complications that may occur to patients will be clarified below.

– Hypothyroidism: is a condition in which the thyroid gland has reduced function leading to a deficiency in the synthesis of T3 and T4 and the release of thyroid hormones. The main cause of this problem may be a diet that does not contain or does not provide enough iodine (less than 150 micrograms of iodine per day), thyroidectomy, congenital malformations, use of antithyroid drugs, and Hashimoto’s disease. This leads to decreased body temperature, tiredness, sleepiness, weight gain, constipation, reduced urine output, slow movements, poor memory, slow heart rate, low blood pressure, and sexual dysfunction.

In a study published on the Springer Link system (part of Springer Nature) in September 2019, it was announced that the incidence of hypothyroidism in Europe from 1975 to 2012 was about 5% of the population.

– Hyperthyroidism: is a syndrome in which the thyroid gland is overactive, producing more thyroid hormone than the body needs and increasing the concentration of thyroid hormone in the blood, the most common being Basedow’s disease. This is an autoimmune disease, characterized by hyperfunction of the thyroid gland due to thyroid-stimulating antibodies appearing and circulating in the blood, due to excessive use of iodine (more than 500 micrograms/day) in the diet. Toxic multinodular goiter, toxic adenoma, thyroiditis, hypophysitis,… Visible symptoms of this hyperthyroidism include: increased body temperature, weight loss despite always being hungry and eating plenty of nutrients. malnutrition, difficulty sleeping, hot and clammy skin, increased sweating, fear of heat, diarrhea, muscle tremors, fast heart rate, increased blood pressure, irritability, talkativeness, difficulty exercising, palpable thyroid gland, …

The disease can occur in all subjects, but most appear between the ages of 20 – 40. In Vietnam, it is most common at the age of 20 – 30 (accounting for 31.8%).

Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are two common thyroid diseases in women. (Pic: Freepik)

Thyroid hormone levels differ in the two diseases above. Hypothyroidism lowers thyroid hormones. Hyperthyroidism raises thyroid hormone production. The thyroid gland influences the gonads, digestive system, nervous system and circulatory system. So thyroid problems, such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, affect health directly or indirectly. Some common symptoms are: swollen neck, fatigue, and low sexual desire.

According to research by Jean E.Mulder MD in the journal Medical Clinics of North America, thyroid disorders occur more frequently in women than men due to the structure and nature of the body’s immune system, especially Women’s bodies go through more hormonal changes than men’s. The rate of hypothyroidism in women is 0.6 – 5.9%, while this rate is 0.54 – 2.0% for hyperthyroidism.

Methods to improve symptoms

Regularly, in the early stages, both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism do not cause obvious symptoms or are confused by patients with other diseases. Therefore, to prevent it, people need to have the habit of regular health examinations and screening such as:

– Thyroid ultrasound to observe images including the location and size of thyroid nodules.

– Thyroid function test through thyroid stimulating hormone parameters including T3, T4, FT3, FT4, TSH.

– Check iodine concentration.

– X-ray, thyroid biopsy.

In addition, practice a reasonable lifestyle and nutrition regimen with measures such as:

– Regular exercise helps the body be full of energy, is good for muscles and bones, slows down the aging process and is a stimulant to strengthen the immune system, preventing not only thyroid disease but also other diseases. general health management.

Regular health screening is one of the measures to prevent thyroid disease (Pic: Freepik)

According to an interventional study at a tertiary care center in the Bastar region of India in 2015, a total of 20 treated male hypothyroid patients in their 30s and 40s were evaluated for thyroid function. , of which 10 patients belonged to the regular exercise group and 10 patients belonged to the non-exercise group. Serum TSH, T3 and T4 were analyzed at the end of 3 months in both exercise groups. Serum TSH decreased significantly, T3 and T4 increased clearly in the exercise group and vice versa with no change in the non-exercise group. sex.

Apply a reasonable, balanced diet. Science has proven that 70% of the autoimmune system is found in the intestines or gut-associated lymphoid tissue. When the intestinal lining becomes inflamed, it triggers an immune response. Studies show this plays an important role in the development of thyroid disease. To help control the condition, patients need to follow a nutritionally balanced diet, including: Fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains, cooking oils and healthy fats (including olive oil pure, organic canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, coconut oil, nuts, avocado).

However, in addition to the points mentioned above, there will be differences in the nutritional regimens of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism patients, specifically:

– Hypothyroidism patients should avoid foods such as soybeans, cabbage, foods high in sugar and coffee. Besides, it is necessary to supplement foods rich in iodine such as seafood and dark green vegetables. Because iodized salt helps improve the body’s metabolism as well as stabilize the functioning of the thyroid gland. A pioneer in research, the Nutricare brand provides Leanpro Thyro Medical Nutrition food – specialized nutrition rich in Iodine and Selenium to help improve thyroid hormones, especially with the exclusive SLIMCARE system to help control weight, Reduce stress and fatigue, improve overall health, this is truly a guaranteed and suitable source of nutrition for hypothyroidism patients, patients after thyroid surgery, patients after radioactive iodine treatment.

– Regarding nutrition: people with hyperthyroidism need to pay attention to many issues. You must clearly understand which foods you should eat more and which foods you should avoid because this way the treatment process will take place faster and be more effective. In particular, you should avoid alcoholic beverages because they limit calcium absorption, and foods containing iodine because they will contribute to making your medical condition worse. Along with diet, Nutricare experts also recommend that hyperthyroid patients should use 2-3 cups/day with a supplement diet, and use 7 cups/day with a complete diet (40g). mixed with 180ml of warm water) Leanpro Thyro LID helps fully supplement nutrients for people on an iodine diet. Iodine content is reduced by 88% compared to other conventional dairy products, meeting the American Thyroid Association’s recommendations on an iodine diet for hyperthyroidism patients and patients on iodine treatment.

Appropriate nutrition supports thyroid health. (Pic: Freepik)

This article talks about the thyroid and related issues, so is it possible to live without a thyroid? The thyroid gland is not an organ that can regenerate itself, but humans can still survive without the thyroid gland. The study was conducted on 125 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of thyroid carcinoma who underwent thyroidectomy ≥ 6 months at Hanoi Medical University Hospital from January 2021 to August 2021. Patients completed the EORTC – C30 questionnaire to assess QOL at the time of follow-up examination. The results showed that the average QoL score was: 91.76 ± 6.30 (on a scale of 0 – 100, 100 points is best).

After thyroidectomy, you should contact a doctor to reevaluate thyroid function blood tests (TSH test measures thyroid-stimulating hormone levels). Note that it may take 6 – 8 weeks for blood tests to find changes in thyroid hormone levels after resection.

Prospects for thyroid disorders

Thyroid disease is a common health problem that affects many people. It can cause different symptoms and complications, depending on whether the thyroid gland is underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism). However, most people with thyroid disease can manage their condition with proper treatment and diet, as explained in the article. The thyroid gland is a vital part of the endocrine system that regulates many bodily functions. Therefore, it is important to learn about its anatomy, location, hormones, functions, and common disorders. This will help readers to have a general understanding of thyroid health and to adopt the best preventive and care measures for themselves and their families.


1. https://www.dieutri.vn/sinhlynguoi/tong-hop-nhung-hormon-chuyen-hoa-cua-tuyen-giap

2. Chiovato, Luca, Flavia Magri, and Allan Carlé. “Hypothyroidism in context: where we’ve been and where we’re going.” Advances in therapy 36 (2019): 47-58.


4. Mulder, Jean E. “Thyroid disease in women.” Medical Clinics of North America 82.1 (1998): 103-125.

5. Bansal, Akash, et al. “The effect of regular physical exercise on the thyroid function of treated hypothyroid patients: An interventional study at a tertiary care center in Bastar region of India.” Archives of Medicine and Health Sciences 3.2 (2015): 244-246.

6. Nhung, Đậu Thị Hồng, and Hồ Thị Kim Thanh. “Quality of life of patients with papillary and follicular thyroid carcinoma after thyroidectomy.” Journal of Medical Research 151.3 (2022): 63-72.

7.  https://www.vinmec.com/vi/tin-tuc/thong-tin-suc-khoe/suc-khoe-tong-quat/tuyen-giap-nam-o-dau-va-co-chuc-nang-gi/#google_vignette

8. https://tamanhhospital.vn/co-the-nguoi/tuyen-giap/

9. Thủy, Nguyễn Hải, and Nguyễn Anh Vũ. “HEART AND HYPOTHYROIDISM.”

10. https://diag.vn/thongtinyte/cuong-giap-va-suy-giap/

11. Quân, Đỗ Trung. “Update on treatment of benign thyroid nodules.” Vietnam Journal of Diabetes and Endocrinology 13 (2014): 16-20.

12. Kahaly, George J., Christoph Kampmann, and Susanne Mohr-Kahaly. “Cardiovascular hemodynamics and exercise tolerance in thyroid disease.” Thyroid 12.6 (2002): 473-481.

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