The most common conditions that affect the thyroid gland in men are actually the same as those that affect the women. They include excessive production of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism) and insufficient production of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism). In majority of cases hyperthyroidism develops due to Grave's disease while hypothyroidism is most commonly associated with Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
Clinical Characteristics of Thyroid Problems in Men
There is a difference between symptoms and signs of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
Men suffering from hyperthyroidism are prone to insomnia. They are frequently irritated and nervous, lose weight in spite of normal eating patterns and may suffer from heat sensitivity. Hyperthyroidism is also connected to increased perspiration, muscle weakness and hand tremor. Additional problems include diarrhea and swelling of the neck due to enlargement of the entire gland or its parts.
Men suffering from hypothyroidism develop mental and physical fatigue, mood changes and certain changes in behavior. These patients additionally complain about joint or muscle pain, weight gain in spite of normal intake of food, and constipation. The skin and hair of such patients are dry, they may be forgetful and depressed. Hypothyroidism is a cause of slow metabolism which explains majority of symptoms and signs of the condition.
What Causes Thyroid Problems in Men?
Hyperthyroidism is most commonly related to Grave's disease. Furthermore, excessive production of thyroid hormones occurs if there are hyper-functioning thyroid nodules and if the person develops thyroiditis. On the other hand, hypothyroidism is generally a consequence of the autoimmune disease called Hashimoto's thyroiditis. However, this medical condition may also occur after certain treatments. For example, radiation therapy of the neck or thyroid surgery as well as certain medications may be responsible for insufficient production of thyroid hormones. And finally, hypothyroidism may be associated with pituitary disorders and develop due to iodine deficiency.
Treatment for Thyroid Problems in Men
In men suffering from hyperthyroidism the goal of the treatment is to suppress over-production of thyroid hormones. The treatment may be conservative or surgical. Conservative treatments include anti-thyroid medications, beta blockers and radiation therapy. If these treatments are inefficient the patients undergo partial or total surgical removal of the thyroid gland.
In case of hypothyroidism the body requires proper amount of thyroid hormones. They are substituted in a form of synthetic thyroid hormones. Levothyroxine is a drug that is commonly prescribed in patients suffering from hypothyroidism. The doctor adjusts the dose of the drug according to the current level of thyroid hormones. It is essential to monitor the level of hormones in the blood and make changes of the dose if necessary.