Thyroid disorder signs:
- weight gain,
- fatigue and depression
- dry skin,
- thinning and hair loss,
- pregnancy problems,
- high cholesterol levels,
- high blood pressure,
- loss of libido
- hoarse voice and swollen throat,
- chronic fatigue
What is a thyroid gland?
The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system, which is basically a collection of glands. Known as a small butterfly-shaped organ in the throat, it is very important for our health and well-being. This gland produces hormones that regulate mood and various functions in the body. The thyroid gland secretes thyroid hormones directly into the blood and distributes them to various tissues.
Thyroid hormones affect many vital body functions.
“Thyroid hormones affect many vital body functions, including heart rate, skin maintenance, growth, temperature regulation, fertility and digestion. They also support the normal functioning of the brain, heart, muscles and other organs” said Dr. Jerome M. Hershman, professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Thyroid’s function is to take iodine, which is found in many foods, and convert it into thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Thyroid cells are the only cells in the body that can absorb iodine. These cells combine iodine and the amino acid tyrosine to form T3 and T4. T3 and T4 are then released into the bloodstream and transported throughout the body, where they control metabolism (the conversion of oxygen and calories into energy).
Every cell in the body depends on thyroid hormones which regulates their metabolism. A normal thyroid produces about 80% T4 and about 20% T3, but T3 has about four times the “power” of the hormone T4.
“In this way, the thyroid is one of the‘ main supervisors ’that regulates almost all of the body’s major metabolic functions,” said Cindy Samet, professor of chemistry at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. “Brain, heart and kidney function and body temperature, growth and muscle strength, and many more functions, depend on the thyroid function.”
Do you know the signs of thyroid disorders?
Between 200,000 and 300,000 people in Slovenia suffer from thyroid-related disorders and problems. However, most patients do not know the causes of their problems and do not know that thyroid disorders may be the cause. In order to be able to live normally, move and maintain a healthy body, it is important to recognize the hormonal imbalance and treat it properly.
Thyroid disorder signs:
Decreased and increased thyroid function
Thyroid problems occur as two completely opposite reasons – decreased or increased thyroid hormone action. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the gland functions less than it would need to maintain balance in the body. And in case of overactive thyroid, we call it hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism has many causes. The main hormone secreted by the thyroid gland is thyroxine, also called T4. Hyperthyroidism is a condition that results from excessive T4 production. The most common cause is an autoimmune disorder of Graves’ disease, in which several types of antibodies are formed.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include fatigue or muscle weakness, which lead to difficulty climbing stairs, increased anxiety, rapid or irregular heartbeat, insomnia, weight loss, increased bowel movements and light menstruation.
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is painless and spontaneous attack on the thyroid by an autoimmune process called Hashimoto’s disease. Other causes include thyroid surgery or treatment of an overactive thyroid.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include extreme tiredness, depression, forgetfulness, swelling in the joints, slower heart rate, weight gain, constipation and heavy menstruation.
Proper iodine intake in the body is extremely important
Iodine is a mineral that our body needs for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and other organs. The largest sources of natural chelated iodine are seaweed and sea fish. The chelated form means that the mineral is bound to amino acids. An adult should consume 150 micrograms of iodine per day.
When having a overactive thyroid, we must pay attention to sufficient iodine intake. Iodine is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, thus deficiency can cause goitre or problems with thyroid development. But these are the extreme symptoms that occur when it comes to extreme iodine deficiency.
If we don’t have thyroid problems, it doesn’t mean that we consume enough iodine. Iodine deficiency may show some symptoms that at first glance may not even be attributed to a deficiency of this mineral. When we consume too little iodine, we often feel depressed, according to some research, we are even less capable of concentration and cognitive functions. Dry skin, brittle and fragile nails, fatigue, slower metabolism, weight gain, heart rate disorders, reduced fertility, migraines, ovarian cysts and the development of harmful bacteria in the gut, which may lead to digestive problems and discomfort, are some of the signs of iodine deficiency.
Therefore, the iodine must be present in the daily diet in such a form that it can be absorbed by the body. We ensure a sufficient amount by enjoying a healthy balanced diet and taking natural dietary supplements.
Diet rich with iodine and selenium
The diet in Slovenia does not contain enough iodine (it is also legally prescribed to add iodized salt to the diet). Therefore, we need to make sure to eat food that contains good amounts of iodine, such as: fish and seafood, onions, spinach, zucchini, eggs, pineapple, strawberries, coconut, apricots. There are many choices, so it will certainly not be difficult to enjoy a varied, iodine-rich diet.
Even though we need only 70 micrograms of selenium per day, this trace element and antioxidant is important for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland.
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