Thyroid gland belongs to endocrine system and like all other endocrine glands, has an important function for your normal living. It’s located in the lower part of the front of the neck,below the Adam’s apple, and in normal conditions it’s not visible or can be felt under finger pressure.
Statistics shows that over 200 million of people in the world have thyroid issues but this number is much higher because many other cases are mis-diagnosed.
Thyroid disorders are deserving your attention and we’ll help you to recognize all symptoms of this disease and start your thyroid treatment in time!
But first we’ll explain you what is the function of this gland:
Thyroid gland produces several hormones,all essential for the proper functioning of all organs in our body, but most important are thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Their function is to control metabolism,to transform oxigen and calories to energy. Simply called,they keep your body temperature in normal range, your heart rate as well, weight and many other functions in the body. From the other side, the thyroid gland is controlled by another small gland,the pituitary gland, that produces Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) which stimulates the thyroid gland to produce T3 and T4 hormones every time when their level in the body drops down. And as a major of these two glands,is the gland known as hypothalamus that directly controls the pituitary gland by “telling” it when to release the TSH which means that indirectly controls thyroid hormones T3 and T4.
As you can see this is a whole mechanism and the proper functioning of all these glands is very important.
Common thyroid gland diseases are hypothyroidism – when the gland is not producing enough hormones and hyperthyroidism- when produces too much!
There are many reasons why the thyroid is not producing enough thyroid hormones, but the most common are:
Hashimoto’s disease, it’s an autoimmune disease and the most common cause for hypothyroidism. It’s a condition when the immune system is not recognizing thyroid gland as a part of the body and attacks its cells, which at the end results with loosing its function.
Iodine deficiency can also cause hypothyroidism as well as some congenital disorders or it may result in a goiter which means enlarged thyroid gland. This is happening because the thyroid gland takes the iodine from the food we eat, and convert it into thyroid hormones T3 and T4. After, these hormones are released in the blood and are transported in the whole body to regulate the metabolism. If the food we take is poor in iodine, the gland will not be able to produce enough hormones which leads to hypothyroidism, which generally is characterized by slow metabolism.
Too much thyroid hormones or hyperthyroidism has also many causes, but the most common is another autoimmune disorder called Graves’ disease. It’s a condition mostly found in women and in this case the immune system produces antibodies that stimulate the thyroid gland to work overtime and release too much hormones in the blood stream.
An excessive intake of iodine or thyroid hormones can also cause a hyperthyroidism, which presents an opposite medical condition of hypothyroidism and here all metabolic processes are sped up causing difficult symptoms.
Listed below are symptoms of hypothyroidism:
*Dry skin and hair, breaking and peeling nails
*Slow heart rate
*Increased sensitivity to cold temperature
*Low concentration and poor memory
*Muscle and joint pain
*Feeling tired and without energy
The following are symptoms of hyperthyroidism:
*Agitation and Anxiety
*Sensitivity to high temperature
Many of these symptoms are common for different diseases and that’s why thyroid disorders are mis-diagnosed. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s best to consult your doctor and do lab tests to determine whether you have a thyroid problem or not!
Treatments for both conditions are by taking pills ,in the first case patients are taking thyroid hormone pills and in the second case they take antithyroid drugs or the gland is surgically removed.
Avoid stress situations or find a way to deal with it, because the adrenal glands takes part of endocrine system to, and you should remember that all glands of endocrine system works together ,so try to protect your mental health and balance your hormones!