Over the next 2 weeks, we will discuss Thyroid Health, this week the implications of an under-active thyroid and the following week the overactive thyroid.
The Function of The Thyroid Glands
The thyroid controls how your body’s cells use energy from food, a process called metabolism.
The thyroid secretes several hormones, collectively called thyroid hormones. The main hormone is thyroxine, also called T4.
Thyroid hormones act throughout the body, influencing metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature. During infancy and childhood, adequate thyroid hormone is crucial for brain development.
Among other things, your metabolism affects your body’s temperature, your heartbeat, and how well you burn calories.
If you don’t have enough thyroid hormone, your body processes slow down. That means your body makes less energy, and your metabolism becomes sluggish.
Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism
Symptoms of hypothyroidism may be vague and can often mimic other conditions and they may include:
- Changes in your menstrual cycle
- Dry hair and hair loss
- Dry skin
- Elevated cholesterol
- Greater sensitivity to cold
- Hoarse voice
- Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling
- Problems with memory
- Muscle aches and stiffness
- Muscle weakness
- Puffy face
- Slow heart rate
- Swelling of the thyroid gland (goiter)
- Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Anatomy Of The Thyroid System
The Thyroid Gland consists of the following:
- butterfly-shaped gland
- 2 side lobes – situated below the Adams apple
- Isthmus – Connecting bridge section
- Parathyroid glands – situated at the rear of the windpipe.
How The Thyroid Works
Disorders and Conditions Of The Thyroid
Hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid disease, is a common disorder.
With hypothyroidism, your thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone.
Primary hypothyroidism is caused by a problem with the thyroid gland itself.
Secondary hypothyroidism occurs when another problem interferes with the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones. For example, the pituitary gland or hypothalamus produce hormones that trigger the release of thyroid hormone. A problem with one of these glands can make your thyroid underactive.
Sometimes, an underactive thyroid that results from a problem with the hypothalamus is called tertiary hypothyroidism.
Goiter is a general term for thyroid swelling. Goiters can be harmless, or can represent iodine deficiency or a condition associated with thyroid inflammation called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Inflammation of the thyroid, usually from a viral infection or autoimmune condition. Thyroiditis can be painful, or have no symptoms at all.
Low production of thyroid hormone.
Thyroid damage caused by autoimmune disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism .
An uncommon form of cancer, thyroid cancer is usually curable.
Surgery, radiation, and hormone treatments may be used to treat thyroid cancer.
A small abnormal mass or lump in the thyroid gland. Thyroid nodules are extremely common.
Few are cancerous. They may secrete excess hormones, causing hyperthyroidism, or cause no problems.
Balanced Bites For Underactive Thyroid Health
Thyroid problems in a pregnant woman can affect the developing baby. During the first three months of pregnancy, the baby receives all thyroid hormone from its mother. If the mother has hypothyroidism, the baby does not get enough thyroid hormone. This can lead to problems with mental development.
Extremely low levels of thyroid hormone can cause a life-threatening condition called myxedema. Myxedema is the most severe form of hypothyroidism. A person with myxedema can lose consciousness or go into a coma. The condition can also cause the body temperature to drop very low, which can cause death.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or suspect you may have any of the above disorders or conditions. Contact your local Healthcare Practitioner.
Balanced Healing can assist you with a personalised lifestyle plan to optimise your Underactive Thyroid Health.
Contact Sr Bridget Spargo @ 083 653 7470 or Email: email@example.com to book an appointment.