MEDICAL REVIEW: KNOW MORE ABOUT YOUR THYROID GLAND
Experiencing muscle weakness, irregular heartbeats, or unexplained weight gain? Are you depressed or restless? Battling with sexual dysfunction, irregular menstruation, or constipation? Do you know that your thyroid gland has a role to play in controlling these functions? Ever considered having a thyroid test to monitor the state of your thyroid gland, that small buttery-shaped organ that lies below your Adam's apple?You may have heard that if you have a thyroid problem, you will develop goitre and that, it is safer and more natural to treat thyroid disease with iodine or salt rather than prescription medicine. Well, the possibility that what you have heard about thyroid diseases may be false because the majority of people with such conditions do not develop goitre and treating thyroid diseases with iodine can worsen the condition.
Here is an insight into the important gland that regulates your body's metabolism - the Thyroid gland What is the Thyroid Gland?
The Thyroid gland is a small bi- lobed organ wrapped around your windpipe, that functions to regulate your body's metabolism. Metabolism includes all the processes that occur in your body to convert food into energy needed for cells to function.
What is the Function of The Thyroid?
The thyroid gland creates and releases thyroid hormones into your bloodstream that are vital for normal physical growth and mental development. Hormones are molecules that signal specific cells to action.
The thyroid hormones act to regulate your:
· basal metabolic rate and body temperature
· heart rate and circulation
· bone maturation and red blood cell production
· growth rate and brain development
· blood cholesterol levels
· sexual functions and menstrual cycles
· absorption rate
· muscle tone and control
Thyroid Gland Disorders Thyroid hormones may be less because of under-activity or in excess due to over-activity of the gland. Some thyroid disorders like Hashimoto's Disease or Grave's Disease may occur due to autoimmunity, where the body's immune system treats its tissues as foreign and attack them. This may greatly affect normal body functions and leave you vulnerable to a range of serious health conditions. Hypothyroidism – Underactive Thyroid Hypothyroidism occurs when there is less production of thyroid
hormones caused by Iodine deficiency or an inflammation of your gland. This may cause you to experience depression, impaired memory, low blood pressure, anaemia, cold intolerance, fatigue, weight gain, muscle pain, elevated blood cholesterol levels, irregular menstrual periods, constipation, retarded growth, goitre, etc.
Goitre occurs because of a deficiency of Iodine in your diet as it is an essential trace element needed for thyroid hormone production. In Goitre, your thyroid gland becomes significantly swollen and enlarged due to over- stimulation to produce excess thyroid hormones to make up for the deficiency. Hyperthyroidism – Overactive Thyroid
In Hyperthyroidism, there is excess production of thyroid hormones causing hormonal imbalances and a rise in your metabolism rate. You may experience hyperactivity, rapid heart rate or palpitations, high blood pressure, bulging eyes, excess sweating, heat intolerance, muscle weakness and wasting, hair loss, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, etc. A common example of a condition that causes hyperthyroidism is Grave's Disease.
Although Grave's Disease can affect anyone, it is more common in women and has a wide range of symptoms. Grave's ophthalmopathy affects muscles and other tissues around your eyes causing bulging eyes, double vision, pain in the eyes, red eyes, or puffy eyelids.
Other disorders associated with the thyroid gland are Congenital Hypothyroidism, Thyroid Cancer, Toxic Multinodular Goitre, or Thyroiditis. How Thyroid Issues May Affect Your Sex Life. Thyroid disorders may cause sexual problems as it affects testosterone and lowers your libido. Testosterone is a primary sex hormone, produced in larger quantities in men than in women that is responsible for varying degrees of sex drive. In men, thyroid disorders are associated with erectile and ejaculatory dysfunction and in women, it is linked with low desire, satisfaction, orgasm, and pain during intercourse. However, you can easily maintain normal sexual activity when the cause of sexual dysfunction due to hypothyroidism or
hyperthyroidism is identified and treated. How to Improve Your Thyroid Health.
1. Up your Iodine intake by consuming Iodine-rich diets such as seafood, fish, fresh eggs, avocado, berries, milk, cheese, and yogurt, as adequate dietary Iodine is essential for normal thyroid function.
2. Avoid starvation and crash diets that are deficient in nutrients and lower your calorie intake.
3. Consume more fruits and vegetables as these contain antioxidants that protect the integrity of the thyroid cells by providing molecules that light free radicals in your body.
4. Exercise regularly as this boost’s metabolism naturally.
5. Get a thyroid blood test to assess your thyroid health. What you need to know. Conditions that occur due to Thyroid Disorders are treatable and the chance of recovery is high. Also, if your thyroid gland is completely removed, you can still survive by being put on long-term thyroid hormone replacement therapy to provide you with the hormones your thyroid produces naturally. See your doctor for help if you experience several of the above-mentioned symptoms frequently.