When we feel fatigue, we'd immediately think of the cause of poor sleep, hair loss tends to be attributed to vitamin deficiency, irregular menstruation is grouped into ovary syndrome, skin issues falls into dermatology category, weight gain is due to slow metabolism and poor diet. However, those could just be the symptoms, the root cause or what occurs it might be from this main guy below.
WHAT IS IT?
Thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped endocrine gland in neck, found at the base of your neck ( just below your throat). Although it only weighs less than one ounce, it coordinates many of your body's functions. It produces thyroid hormone controls your body's metabolism in so many ways, including how fast you burn calories, how fast your heart beats, it could also affects your mood.
(image : pinterest)
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Thyroid determines a person’s metabolic rate and energy. It releases thyroid hormone, T3 (Triiodothyronine) and T4 (Thyroxine), then released into bloodstream in order to control metabolism.
When thyroid doesn't produce enough T3 and T4, it causes under active thyroid (potentially Hypothyroidism). And when thyroid produces too much Thyroid Hormone, it causes over active (Hyperthyroidism). There are also several other types of disorders such as Graves' Disease, Goiter, Thyroid Nodules and Thyroid Cancer.
KNOW A LITTLE MORE
The thyroid glad doesn't work alone, it is under the control of the pituitary gland (a.k.a Master Gland) and hypothalamus, known as HPT Axis (Hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid axis) , as a team :
Pituitary gland controls the other hormone secreting glands in the body. When T3 and T4 levels drop too low, pituitary gland produces TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) which stimulates thyroid produce more hormones. Let's think this way, as the room cools down (the thyroid hormone levels drop), the thermostat turns back on (TSH increases) and the furnace produces more heat (thyroid hormones).
Hypothalamus is a small region of the brain. It locates at the base of the brain, near the pituitary gland. It produces TSH Releasing Hormone (TRH), it tells pituitary gland to stimulate thyroid gland (release TSH).
Imagine hypothalamus as the person who regulates the thermostat and tells pituitary gland at what level thyroid should be set.
WHO CAN HAVE THYROID DISORDER?
According to WHO ( World Health Organization ), estimation of about 750 million people around the world suffer from thyroid disorder, almost 1 in 10 adults suffers from thyroid disorder. Women are up to eight times more likely to experience disorders than men ( and children ), but it does not mean men and children do not need to give their thyroids some caring.
WHAT CAUSES THYROID DISORDER?
Iodine : Iodine is found in many foods, follicular cells (thyroid cells) are the only cells absorb iodine. They combine iodine and amino acid tyrosine to make T3 and T4. Lack of Iodine easily worsen Hypothyroidism.
Iodine deficiency has been identified as the world’s most prevalent, yet easily preventable, cause of brain damage by WHO. It links to physical and mental retardation, cretinism, endemic goiter, hypothyroidism and poor outcomes in pregnancy.
Vice Versa, too much Iodine intake affiliates Hyperthyrodism.
Deficiency of Vitamins and Minerals : Vitamin D regulates insulin secretion and balances blood sugar.
Vitamin E has cellular effect on thyroid gland, along with the adrenals and pituitary gland. They also work closely with selenium, both are important for the proper conversion of T3 and T4. Lack of these vitamins could lead to thyroid malfunction.
- Leaky Gut : Believe it or not, gut condition not only affect colon only, it is often associated with autoimmune disease
- Mind and Stress : Stress (or complains a lot) increase Cortisol and cortisol decreases TSH, it lowers thyroid hormone production.
- Diet Pills : A portion of diet or weight loss dietary supplement found in market contains hormone replacement that could end up leading unpredictable amount of thyroid hormones in your blood.
- Contraceptives : Birth Control or hormone replacement therapy that contains high estrogen that can elevate thyroid-binding globulin
Pollution : Environmental, food and skincare (personal care and cosmetics) contain toxins which potentially harm your hormone.
Click here to see a list of toxic ingredients we could find on our counters at home and what they could do to our body.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS? HOW DO I KNOW IF MY THYROID IS WORKING PROPERLY?
You could generally check with your GP and request blood test that includes T3, T4 and TSH tests. (If you ever had thyroid surgery, your calcium level needs to be monitored regularly) .
Please note that sometimes thyroid patterns do not show on standard panels due to different root causes or tests results may be different from lab to lab.
Different symptoms come from different types of thyroid disorders, we are going to dig deep into each separate topic ( and also try to make it as easy to understand) so you could understand each individual disorder and how to maintain your thyroid.
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