Just underneath your Adam’s apple sits the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland. The thyroid secretes two hormones – and these hormones have everything related to your metabolism (the conversion of nutrients into energy); body’s temperature; heartrate and blood circulation pressure; bowel function; skin, hair, and nail growth; cholesterol levels; and numerous other functions.
An underactive thyroid does not produce of the hormones it really is likely to produce enough. This condition is named hypothyroidism (it affects women a lot more than men). An overactive thyroid produces many hormones – this problem is named hyperthyroidism too. Since an underactive thyroid may be the most prevalent, we will limit this discussion to hypothyroidism. There are many factors behind hypothyroidism – but regardless of the cause, the outcome may be the same: A slow metabolism which affects each and every cell within your body.
This results in weight gain along with feeling tired all the right time. Constant fatigue affects the human brain, leaving it tired to motivate the body into action too. To other folks, you might appear lazy. Could it be any wonder that hypothyroidism results in depression? Besides weight gain, fatigue, and depression – you can find other outward indications of hypothyroidism. Poor digestion, constipation, feeling cold while those around you’re warm (an especially miserable symptom if you are going right through menopause and having hot flashes too), aching joints and muscles, dry skin and brittle nails, hair thinning, irregular menstrual cycles, raised chlesterol, and recurring infections are potential outward indications of hypothyroidism.
Four common known reasons for hypothyroidism are:
- insufficient of the mineral selenium.
- a damaged thyroid gland.
- miscommunication between your brain and the thyroid about hormone production.
- insufficient of the mineral iodine.
Let’s have a look at each dysfunction.
- The thyroid produces two hormones: T3 (which contains 3 iodine molecules) and T4 (which contains 4 iodine molecules). T3 is more vigorous and about four times stronger than T4, and on an as-needed basis the physical body converts T4 to T3. Since roughly 80% of one’s thyroid hormones are T4 and 20% are T3, there’s a lot of T4 hanging to be changed into T3 around. Conversion occurs in the thyroid gland and liver mostly, and conversion takes a special enzyme to eliminate one iodine from T4 to create it into T3. That enzyme can only just do its job once the mineral – selenium – can be acquired to ‘activate’ the enzyme. Little selenium too, and the conversion of T4 to T3 is sluggish, slowing your metabolism.
- Sometimes your body attacks its thyroid gland by way of a (still) mysterious autoimmune disease mechanism. This apparently happens once the disease fighting capability creates an antibody against another thing, however the antibody ‘cross-reacts’ and attacks the thyroid gland. Researchers think food allergies could possibly be involved with producing this antibody; or, during pregnancy, cells from the fetus could possibly be viewed as foreign to the physical body, thus producing the antibody (assisting to explain why hypothyroidism is mainly within women).
- The thyroid gland is controlled by the pituitary gland – a peanut-sized gland located slightly below the brain. The pituitary gland is controlled by the hypothalamus – the right section of the brain. Here’s how it operates: Once the brain detects low degrees of T3 and T4 in the blood, it sends a hormone (TRH) to the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland then sends a hormone (TSH) to the thyroid that relates this message: Make more T3 and T4. Any disease state relating to the brain or pituitary gland may lead to a miscommunication with the thyroid about hormone levels. Frequently, it’s the pituitary gland which has a nagging problem.
- A minimal iodine supply causes an issue for the thyroid in producing the (3-iodine) T3 hormone and (4-iodine) T4 hormone. This is simply not ‘much’ of an issue in the U.S. However, for those who have all but abandoned salt (usually to regulate raised blood pressure), you may be lower in iodine. T3, T4, antibodies that attack the thyroid, TRH, TSH, and iodine can all be measured with tests to determine when you have hypothyroidism. These tests are accurate reasonably, but miss low or moderately-low hypothyroid conditions sometimes.