Here we are again, and today we would like to talk about … no, not about viruses, but about thyroid! Knowing these 4 facts about thyroid gland and related diseases might can help many.
# 1: Why the thyroid gland affects the whole body
Thyroid hormones affect many vital functions in the body. Particularly, they regulate metabolism, growth, development and functioning of all tissues, organs and systems. In addition, these hormones affect the cardiovascular, respiratory and central nervous systems.
Accordingly, imbalances can negatively affect just about everything, from body temperature to mood. The menstrual cycle and the reproductive system of women also depend on these hormones.
The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones – thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). They, in turn, are responsible for the rest of the processes. For example, it is these hormones that speed up the metabolism.
# 2: The most common thyroid gland diseases
Major thyroid dysfunctions include only two diseases. First, hyperthyroidism, means that the gland produces A LOT of hormones. The second, hypothyroidism, indicates a lack of hormones.
Speaking of the reasons, we could mention iodine deficiency, autoimmune diseases, and many other factors. In particular, even a healthy pregnancy can affect hormone production in women. Also, intake of certain medications can provoke such illnesses.
# 3: Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism
Let’s talk in more detail about the symptoms of both diseases and risk groups.
Who risks getting sick most?
Increased production of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism) is more likely to affect women, especially 20 to 40 years old. However, this condition can also overtake men. The risk increases with excess weight, unhealthy diet, low physical activity.
In addition, people with type 1 diabetes and some autoimmune disorders are also at risk. Such autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and psoriasis. Finally, don’t forget about genetic predisposition.
Which symptoms might indicate illness?
Hyperthyroidism is often accompanied by anxiety, irritability, sleeping disorders, constant fatigue. Besides, a sharp or unexplained decrease in body weight, hair loss and brittle nails can trigger the disease.
Lack of thyroid hormones may be indicated by increased swelling, rapid weight gain, and pain in joints and muscles. Also mind sore throat and hoarseness, mood swings and drowsiness.
Keep in mind that an enlarged goiter or bulging eyes may or may not be a symptom of the disease. However, such signs often indicate even more serious problems with the thyroid gland, so do not ignore them in any case.
# 4: What can you do for prevention
First and foremost, thyroid health requires … a healthy lifestyle. In fact, even a bad environment can affect the likelihood and severity of the disease. That is why better take matters into your own hands. Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, and try to avoid stress.
Also, consume iodine-containing foods. In particular, look for fresh sea fish, iodized salt, seaweed, quality dairy products, eggs, herbs and legumes. Take vitamins if necessary. Cut back on your gluten intake, even if you don’t have a gluten intolerance.
If you have any symptoms or suspicions of thyroid disease, see your doctor. Timely examination and diagnosis could save you from unpleasant consequences. Moreover, older people should be tested for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) at least once every three years and, if possible, undergo an ultrasound examination.
Here are some good habits to stay well!