Hypothyroidism At A Glance

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The condition in which the thyroid glands emit an inadequate level of thyroid hormones is hypothyroidism. The body requires these hormones for proper metabolism growth, expansion and healthy cellular processing. An unusually low amount of thyroid hormones could cause extensive side effects throughout the body.

But just what are these thyroid homones and why do we need them so badly?

Thyroid hormones are produced by the thyroid glands. Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in front of the neck, below the Adam’s apple or larynx.

The thyroid secretes two very important hormones, Thyroxine (T4) and Triodothyronine (T-3). In addition to controlling how quickly your body makes use of fats and carbohydrates, important functions of these hormones include control of your body temperature and regulation of chemical reactions. Other important functions involving these two hormones include regulating protein production, influencing your heart rate and affecting the sleep governing circadian rhythms.

Conversely, there is no emission of these hormones when there is no thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) being produced through your pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is a tiny cavity located at the bottom of the brain and is the size of a peanut.

When our body needs the service of the thyroid hormones, the brain signals the pituitary gland to produce more TSH, which in turn stimulates the thyroid gland to secrete T3 and T4. Hence, raising the levels of these hormones in the blood. The amount depends on how much T3 and T4 are in your blood. In addition, the thyroid regulates its hormone production based on the amount of TSH it receives.

In addition, the thyroid creates calcitonin, a hormone that takes part in the monitoring and metabolization of calcium amounts in the bloodstream.

What are the causes of Hypothyroidism?

There are actually many different causes. Here are some of them:

* Hashimoto thyroiditis or autoimmune disease
When your own immune system begins to produce antibodies which actually will attack its own tissue, the condition is referred to as an autoimmune disease. The thyroid gland may be involved in this process. Perhaps caused by bacteria or a virus, the cause behind autoimmune disease remains unclear. This disease not only affects the thyroid’s function but other organs as well, regardless of what the cause really is. The thyroid tissue is damaged tnen not able to produce other of your body’s critical hormonal needs.

* Extracting the Thyroid by Surgical Means
There are some medical conditions that permit the surgery needed for taking out a section of the thyroid gland, which is thyroid cancer. Hypothyroidism takes place when the entire thyroid is unable to emit an adequate amount of hormones that meets the body’s needs.

* The Process of Radioactive Iodine Therapy (for hypothyroidism, goiter and Grave’s disease)
This treatment is meant to eradicate or kill off a section of the thyroid gland to keep it from growing even bigger and also impede the thyroid’s excessive emission of hormones (hypothyroidism).

* Undergoing Radiation Therapy
This is a process utilized for the treatment of cancer in the head, neck and thyroid. This is something that could have an impact on the thyroid gland’s ability to function, thus leading to hypothyroidism.

* To Treat Those with Congenital Disease
About 3,000 infants a year are born in the United States with either a problematic thyroid gland, or no gland at all. Some of these cases show that, although they gave inherited a form of thyroid disorder, some children never have any problems develop for some unknown reason. Newborn thyroid screening, for that reason, is now suggested by a number of states.

* Pregnancy and Post Pregnancy
During pregnancy and sometimes even after, a woman will produce antibodies against her own thyroid gland which results in the problem of hypothyroidism. If not treated, dangers including miscarriage, premature delivery and preclampsia can be the result.

* Acute Iodine Deficiency
You can find iodine in practically all edible matters, and it is required for the production of thyroid hormones. Iodine deficiency is a prevalent problem in almost every corner of the world. However, in America, the daily ingestion of table salt along with iodine has decreased to the point where this issue has almost been completely eliminated.

* The Pituitary Gland Tumor
This is something that could have an impact on the pituitary gland’s capacity for making TSH, which is required for the production of hormones in the thyroid.

Hypothyroidism: The Symptoms

* Fatigue
* Weakness/Sluggishness
* Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
* Coarse, dry hair
* Dry, rough pale skin
* Hair loss
* Cold intolerance
* Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
* Constipation
* Depression
* Irritability
* Memory loss
* Abnormal menstrual cycles
* Decreased libido

As is apparent, the thyroid gland has a major influence on the overall health of the body. If you feel as though you are going through any indicators of hypothyroidism, it is crucial that you get into contact with your physician so that a remedy can be given.

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