You will learn about: hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, thyroid stimulation hormone (TSH), thyroxine (T4), symptoms of thyroid problems, cause of thyroid problems in females, children and in pregnancy, at home thyroid test, autoimmune & Hashimoto thyroiditis, Grave’s disease, iodine function, foods for healthy thyroid.
Short Summary:Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the throat that helps control metabolism and body temperature while maintaining good mental health, appetite, energy levels, healthy sex drive and a healthy heart.
Thyroid releases two key hormones: T4 (thyroxine, or tetra-iodo-thyronine) and T3 (tri-iodo-thyronine)–containing four and three iodine atoms, respectively.
The pituitary gland releases another hormone called TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) which regulates T3 and T4 release. Normal TSH levels are key to a healthy mind and body.
If there is a problem—e.g., when our own immune system starts to attack the thyroid gland, the body produces TPO antibodies (anti-thyro-peri-oxidase); presence of TPO antibodies in a blood test is an indication autoimmune diseases.
A simple at-home thyroid test with a finger prick sample can measure TSH, fT3, fT4, and TPO antibodies.
Thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits in the throat just below the Adam’s apple. It releases two hormones that are crucial for our health.
This thyroid gland helps maintain body weight and energy as the two catabolic hormones control metabolism. They help in our psychological well-being, appetite, energy level, sleep and stress, sex drive, and overall mood.
Thyroid gland also regulates our body temperature. Feeling of being too cold or too hot are first signs of thyroid dysfunction.
An under-active gland slows down metabolism leading to wide range of issues including weight gain, fatigue, anxiety, skin rashes, high cholesterol, fluid retention and a general feeling of unhappiness.
However, an over-active gland has totally opposite effect and results in an overactive metabolism that makes one always feel hungry and tired.
These excess hormones result in hyperactivity, nervousness, irritability, insomnia, brittle nails, increased sweating, diarrhea, and excessive bowl movement.
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Thyroid disorder is fairly common–affecting almost 1 in 25 people with low or high levels.
There are two types of thyroid hormones:
The thyroid hormones have about 80% T4 and 20% T3. Out of the two, T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone. Thyroxine (T4), the inactive hormone, converts to T3 by releasing one iodine atom.
Any interference in their supply, e.g., by excess copper that might bind with Zn can interfere in this conversion.
Based on our emotions, senses, and other daily activities, the hypothalamus in brain senses the need for thyroid hormones and directs the pituitary glad to release Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH).
Thyroid gland in the throat will then release the amount of thyroid hormones, T3 & T4, based on the amount of TSH released from the brain. It is a closed loop involving TSH, T3, and T4 that fully control the thyroid function.
The body produces antibodies called TPO (anti-thyro-perioxidase or antithyroid microsomal antibody) when there is a problem in this cycle, especially when our own immune system attacks the thyroid gland.
Therefore, a thyroid hormone test needs to check all these four key components, TSH, T3, T4, and TPO to assess the health of thyroid glands.
Deficiency of thyroid hormones due to insufficient production of the two hormones in thyroid gland is hypothyroidism.
It can develop due to problems with thyroid gland, pituitary gland, or hypothalamus since all of them are responsible for producing these hormones.
Our risk of hypothyroidism is highest under 20-years and over 60-years of age.
The most important symptoms of hypothyroidism or low thyroid hormones are weight gain, slow metabolism, and fatigue. Here are some of the symptoms in detail:
Production of excess thyroid hormone is hyperthyroidism. Stress is one of the key causes of hyperthyroidism. However, it is less common than hypothyroidism.
The risk of hyperthyroidism is highest for youth and elderly.
It is tricky to diagnose thyroid hormone imbalance just from its symptoms due to various reasons:
There are four key markers that should be part of a comprehensive thyroid test:
Key risk factors for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
Main Source:Hormone Balance by Scott Isaacs, MD