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Thyroid: Overview, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment.

- July 21, 2020
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Thyroid: Overview, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment.


Thyroid disorders are conditions that affect the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland in front of the neck. The thyroid has an important role in regulating many metabolic processes throughout the body.

When your thyroid does not function properly, it can affect your entire body. If your body makes thyroid hormones, then you can develop a condition called hyperthyroidism. If your body makes too little thyroid hormone, it is called hypothyroidism.

What does Thyroid do?

Thyroid has an important function within your body - releasing and controlling thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism. Metabolism is a process in which the food you take into your body turns into energy. This energy is used throughout your body to properly function many systems of your body. Think of your metabolism as a generator. It takes in raw energy and uses it to make something bigger.

The thyroid regulates your metabolism with certain hormones - T4 (thyroxine, which has four iodide atoms) and T3 (triiodothyronine, three iodide atoms). These two hormones are made by the thyroid and they tell the cells of the body how much energy to use. When your thyroid works properly, it will maintain the correct amount of hormones to keep your metabolism functioning at the right rate. As the hormone is used, thyroid replacement forms.


Symptoms of hyperactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) may include:

  •   Anxiety, irritability and nervousness.
  •   Having trouble sleeping.
  •   Weight loss.
  •   Having an enlarged thyroid gland or goiter.
  •   Muscle weakness and shivering.
  •   Experiencing irregular menstruation or stopping your menstruation.
  •   Feeling sensitive to heat.
  •   Vision problems or eye irritation.

Symptoms of an active thyroid (hypothyroidism) may include:

  •   Feeling tired (fatigue).
  •   Gaining weight.
  •   Experience of amnesia.
  •   Frequent and heavy menstruation.
  •   Having dry and Thick hair.
  •   Experiencing an intolerance to cold temperatures.

What Causes Thyroid disease?

There are two main types of thyroid disease: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Both conditions can be caused by other diseases that affect the way the thyroid gland works.

Conditions that cause hypothyroidism include:

  •   Thyroiditis: This condition is inflammation (inflammation) of the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis can reduce the amount of thyroid-producing hormones.

  •   Hashimoto's thyroiditis: A painless disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition where body cells attack and damage the thyroid. This is an inherited condition.

  •   Postpartum thyroiditis: This condition occurs after delivery in 5% to 9% of women. This is usually a temporary condition.

  •   Iodine deficiency: Iodine is used by the thyroid to produce hormones. Iodine deficiency is an issue that affects several million people worldwide.

    A non-functioning thyroid gland: Sometimes, the thyroid gland does not function correctly from birth. It affects about 1 in 4,000 newborns. If left untreated, the child may have both physical and mental issues in the future. All newborns are given a screening blood test at the hospital to check their thyroid function.

 Keep Your Thyroid Healthy

  •   Hypothyroidism: in contrast, stems from an underproduction of thyroid hormones. Since a certain amount of thyroid hormone is required for your body's energy production, a drop in hormone production leads to lower energy levels.

  •   Hashimoto's thyroiditis: The tissue eventually dies and stops producing hormones.

  •    Hyperthyroidism: This means that the thyroid is overactive and produces excessive amounts of thyroxine. A hyperactive thyroid causes the body to function rapidly, eventually disrupting normal bodily functions. It can cause weight loss, eye problems and even osteoporosis.

Now that you know a little about thyroid, here are 4 ways you can keep your thyroid healthy.


Eat a nutrient rich diet.

It is ideal for consuming fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants and iodine, which is essential for thyroid hormone production. An iron or iodine deficiency can actually cause hypothyroidism. For people with hyperthyroidism, iodine may help slow down the release of too much thyroid hormone. No matter what thyroid problem you have, iodine can help your thyroid function in general. Sea vegetables like kelp or spirulina can help you supply iodine. Below is a list of foods that are beneficial for thyroid health.

  •   Berries (Strawberry, Blueberry, Blackberry etc.)
  •   Crispy vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage)
  •   Sea vegetables (kelp, pulses, agar, seaweed, nori, spirulina, Irish moss)
  •   Foods high in chlorophyll (spinach, snow peas, kiwi, cucumbers, parsley)
  •   Olive oil
  •   Almond
  •   Pumpkin Seeds
  •   Linseed
  •   Walnut
  •   Brazil nuts
  •   Sunflower seeds
  •   Sesame seeds

Avoid Fluoride.

Most commercial toothpastes contain toxic substances that can harm your health, but they also contain fluoride, which can damage the thyroid. Communities with fluoride in water actually have higher rates of hypothyroidism. Additionally, try to avoid non-stick pans and black tea, as both contain fluoride.

Stress Reduction.

Lowering your stress levels can not only improve your thyroid function, but can also contribute to your overall well-being. Stress can actually produce a thyroid condition, or make it more clear that you have a thyroid condition. Hypertype of cortisol, a stress hormone, can interfere with thyroid hormone production. This can actually make it harder for the thyroid to produce the sufficient amount of hormones required for bodily functions. Great methods of de-stressing include acupuncture, breathing techniques such as meditation, massage therapy, or taking a hot bath.

Get rid of inflammatory foods.

When your immune system is irritated, it does not accept your thyroid as part of the body. In fact, your immune system interprets the thyroid gland as an infiltrate and initiates an autoimmune attack. Gluten, eggs, dairy and grains are all inflammatory.

How is Thyroid disease Treated?

The goal of your healthcare provider is to return your thyroid hormone levels to normal. This can be done in various ways and each specific treatment will depend on the cause of your thyroid condition.

If you have high levels of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism), treatment options may include:

  •   Radioactive iodine: This treatment damages your thyroid cells, preventing it from high levels of thyroid hormone.
  •   Beta blockers: These drugs do not change the amount of hormones in your body, but they help in controlling your symptoms.
  •   Surgery: This will prevent it from making hormones. However, you will need to take thyroid replacement hormones for the rest of your life.

If you have low levels of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism), the main treatment option is:

  •   Thyroid replacement medicine: This medicine is a synthetic (man-made) way of adding thyroid hormone back into your body. A commonly used drug is called levothyroxine. By using a medicine, you can control thyroid disease and lead a normal life.

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