The thyroid is a gland located in the front of the neck, 6 centimeters high and 6 centimeters wide, and weighs no more than 30 grams. Like all glands, the thyroid produces hormones.
The influence of the thyroid gland produces the hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (tetraiodothyronine or thyroxine), which are necessary for all cells of the body. In order to secrete thyroid hormones according to the needs of the body, the pituitary gland, a small gland in the brain, produces a regulatory hormone that acts directly on the thyroid. This hormone is TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). The role of TSH is to stimulate the thyroid when the level of thyroid hormones in the blood drops.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the T3 and T4 levels are too high, that is, when the thyroid produces too much hormone. the opposite is hypothyroidism, where there is insufficient hormonal production.
Causes of thyroid disorders
Thyroid disorders are caused by insufficient TSH levels in some cases, and in some cases by problems within the gland itself.
The most common form of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition in which the body produces antibodies that destroy thyroid tissue. Surgical removal of the thyroid and the use of certain medications can also cause hypothyroidism.
Other possible causes of hypothyroidism include a number of pituitary and hypothalamus issues and iodine deficiency. Some babies show signs of hypothyroidism from birth, this is called congenital hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism also has different causes. The most common is Graves’ disease (toxic goiter). This condition occurs when the immune system produces an antibody that stimulates the thyroid gland, causing overactivity and increased thyroid hormone levels.
Toxic multinodular goiter is another form of hyperthyroidism. Thyroid adenomas, or unusual tissue nodules in the thyroid, always produce a lot of thyroid hormones.
Hyperthyroidism also occurs when the pituitary gland produces too much TSH, causing the thyroid gland to be constantly stimulated. A pituitary tumor can cause high TSH levels.
Another possible cause of hyperthyroidism is thyroiditis or inflammation of the thyroid. This condition occurs when the thyroid is inflamed. Thyroiditis can progress to hyperthyroidism or, on the contrary, to hypothyroidism.
There are 4 types of thyroid cancer, these are papillary, follicular, anaplastic and medullary cancers. Rarely, other cancers spread to the thyroid.
10 silent signs of thyroid disorders
Thyroid disorders can trigger many different health issues in metabolism and produce a variety of symptoms. It is absolutely necessary to pay attention to the symptoms of thyroid disorders, which are not always clear, because if left untreated, the symptoms will worsen.
Here are 10 silent signs to watch out for.
If you don’t generally experience anxiety but if you always start to feel nervous or bothered by the lack of attention, this may be a sign of an overactive thyroid. Overproduction of thyroid hormones causes patients to feel nervous or fussy for no apparent reason. The brain is so stimulated that it excites the person to the point of discomfort.
Hair and eyebrow loss is a common symptoms of thyroid problems. An underactive or overactive thyroid gland impairs hair growth. In general, while most of the hair grows, a small part remains at rest. When thyroid hormones are unstable, the resting part increases and hair looks sparse.
Sweating for no reason
Excessive perspiration, unrelated to movement, is a sign of an overactive thyroid. Stabilizes power production in the thyroid body. Unusually high hormone levels can cause the metabolism to work at full capacity, resulting in a great feeling of heat.
If a random disorder occurs in the thyroid, the brain is affected first. People with an underactive thyroid often experience brain fog. It is accompanied by memory issues, such as general mental fatigue. An overactive thyroid can also cause concentration issues.
Excess thyroid hormones accelerate metabolism. It is common to feel palpitations even when resting.
need for sleep during the day
Great tiredness or needing to sleep in the middle of the day can be a sign of hypothyroidism. The body needs thyroid hormones to generate power. Since the hormones are secreted less, the body becomes sluggish and needs sleep during the day.
restless menstrual periods
If your periods get heavier, last longer, or occur at shorter intervals, it may be a sign that your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones. On the other hand, if your period is lighter or occurs at longer intervals, it may be an indication of too much thyroid hormone production.
infertility or miscarriage
Women who have trouble conceiving without a hereditary cause of infertility or who have a miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy may have a thyroid disorder. Too low hormone levels harm ovulation and increase susceptibility to miscarriage as well as infertility.
stunting in children
Thyroid problems are even more difficult to detect in children because they don’t always show symptoms. If they show significant growth delays compared to their peers, have muscle pain, or have teachers report that they are nervous and lack concentration, it could be a sign of a hormonal level that is too low to be affecting their growth.
not gaining weight
If you are not gaining weight despite eating more without changing your diet or physical activity level, you may have an overactive thyroid that increases metabolic activity. Often feels hungry all the time and has a desire to eat more, but instead of gaining weight, weight is lost.
Treatment of thyroid disorders
Treatment for hypothyroidism is thyroid hormone replacement therapy. This treatment consists of taking a synthetic thyroid hormone to correct the thyroid hormone deficiency. Treatment lasts a lifetime.
Hormone replacement therapy has no side effects in more than one condition. However, taking too much of the hormone can cause tremors, palpitations, and sleep disorders. Pregnant women may need to take more. It usually takes about 4 to 6 weeks for the effects of the first dose or dose change to appear in laboratory tests.
Treatments for hyperthyroidism include radioactive iodine therapy, medications for thyroid disorders, and surgery. Radioactive iodine therapy is sufficient in some cases to correct hyperthyroidism. In most cases, a single dose of radioactive iodine is sufficient to rectify the situation. However, if the gland is destroyed too much, hypothyroidism can occur. Radioactive iodine is given in such a low dose that it does not harm the rest of the body. It is never given to pregnant women as it can destroy the fetus’ thyroid.
Antithyroid drugs can correct hyperthyroidism in the middle of 6 weeks to 3 months. These drugs cause a decrease in the thyroid gland’s production of new thyroid hormones. Higher doses work faster but can cause side effects such as skin rash, nausea, loss of taste, liver damage, and rarely, decreased cell production by the bone marrow.
Thyroidectomy, which is the surgical removal of the thyroid, is especially necessary in cases where cancerous nodules are present, breathing or swallowing disorders caused by a non-cancerous nodule, iodine intolerance, lack of activity of radiation or antithyroid drugs, or a nodule containing fluid causes permanent problems. Removal of the thyroid leads to hypothyroidism, which means that thyroid hormone replacement therapy must be taken for life.
Your doctor may also recommend other medications to control the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as tremors, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, and irritability. Treatment of thyroid cancers is often done with a mixture of various routes, including removal of the thyroid, radioactive iodine, radiation therapy, anti-cancer drugs, and suppression of hormone secretion.
10 foods good for thyroid
For a healthy thyroid, some easy lifestyle habits can help, starting with a healthy diet. You need to take protein every day. They provide the direct precursor of thyroid hormones, tyrosine, one of the 22 amino acids that make up proteins, is essential for the thyroid.
Consume foods rich in vitamin D every day. Vitamin D allows thyroid hormones to enter cells. Consume sources of vitamin D such as fatty fish, dairy products and mushrooms twice a week.
Consume fruits and vegetables at all meals. You can get the necessary minerals and vitamins from fruits and vegetables for the optimal production of effective thyroid hormones. Choose foods rich in iodine, selenium and vitamin D, three essential elements for proper thyroid function.
Apart from these, you can also consume foods that are known to be suitable for thyroid health.
Eggs, and especially egg whites, contain tyrosine. This amino acid is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones and, therefore, for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. In the body, tyrosine is naturally produced from phenylalanine, another amino acid also found in eggs. 100 g of eggs contain 685 mg of phenylalanine and 502 mg of tyrosine.
Lentils, broad beans, chickpeas, beans… Legumes are rich in iron with an average of 2.8 mg of iron per 100 grams. Iron contributes to the production of thyroid hormones by participating in enzymatic activity. It is recommended to consume 10 mg of iron per day for men and 16 to 20 mg for women.
Natural yogurts are a great source of iodine and contain vitamin D, which the thyroid needs to function properly.
Oily fish such as tuna, sardines, mackerel and salmon are particularly rich in iodine. It is recommended to be consumed at least twice a week.
100 g of beef liver provides 12 mg of zinc, meeting the full daily recommended intake for adults. It also largely meets the recommended daily intake of vitamins A and B2. all these are very valuable for thyroid health.
The magnesium it contains plays a role in numerous enzymatic reactions that keep the thyroid gland functioning. Ideally, it is found in cacao to a large extent. 100 g of dark chocolate contains magnesium in the middle of 150 mg to 400 mg.
Almonds contain adequate amounts of calcium, the deficiency of which can cause thyroid gland disorder.
This superior food is rich in zinc. This antioxidant element is necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid and is not stored in the body. 100 grams of pumpkin seeds provide 7.6 mg of zinc. The recommended daily intake for adults is 15 mg. You can also opt for sesame seeds, which have just as many benefits.
Thanks to its vitamin A content, mango helps to strengthen the thyroid.
wheat germ oil
Wheat germ oil contains an appropriate amount of vitamin E. 1 tablespoon of wheat germ oil provides 22 mg of vitamin E and meets the full recommended daily intake for adults. It is also valuable for the thyroid as it is rich in zinc.