Little pigeons can carry great messages. This proverb could really be about the small thyroid gland. This butterfly-shaped organ situated on the forepart of your neck keeps the performance of the brain, heart and reproductive system under control. Moreover the thyroid helps you maintain a proper metabolism and sustain a suitable body temperature.
How can it be possible for this miniature organ to regulate vital functions? It is due to hormones. The thyroid gland produces triiodthyronine and L-thyroxine which give it the ability to hold the key of the body’s operation.
When everything is happening normally your thyroid is synthesizing the appropriate amount of hormones. Sometimes problems can occur, leading to an excessive or deficient production of thyroid hormones (TH).
Lack of TH is called hypothyroidism and is mainly caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This disorder causes your immune cells to begin to attack your own thyroid tissue. Other common causes include radiation and the surgical treatment of hyperthyroidism.
The other side of the story is an overactive thyroid gland. This disease causes the compounds of your immune system to make your gland generate excessive thyroid hormones. Doctors call this Grave’s disease.
Thyroid problems usually don’t lurk and manifest in various symptoms. Check out these warning signs of an overactive or underactive gland in your neck.
#1. Weight alterations – don’t be too quick to rejoice at sudden unexplained weight loss as it may be connected with high levels of thyroid hormones in your blood. Decrease in thyroid activity leads to weight gain that can make you feel upset.
#2. Swollen gland – a nodule, lump or diffusely enlarged butterfly-like gland is a warning sign of certain thyroid disorders.
#3. Menstrual abnormalities – thyroid hormones have a great impact on your menstrual cycle and reproductive function. That’s why an underactive thyroid gland becomes apparent from heavy long-term periods that can even result in anemia. On the other hand those who suffer from hyperthyroidism, often complain of scanty menstruation or their absence entirely (amenorrhea).
#4. Tiredness – no, it’s not about the evening after your 4-hour workout or a quarrel with you beloved one. Baseless fatigue which lasts for a long time may indicate problems in the thyroid gland.
#5. Intolerance to low or high temperatures – as the thyroid regulates body temperature, a disturbance of the gland’s functioning makes you feel too cold (hypothyroidism) or too hot (hyperthyroidism).
#6. Impaired mental health – a wide variety of diseases can affect mental functioning. However, you should be aware that depression, forgetfulness and apathy are frequently linked with the lack of thyroid hormones. Increased levels lead to the inability to concentrate, nervousness, anxiety and sleep disorders.
#7. Heart rate disorders – low levels of thyroid hormones may slow down your pulse (bradycardia). An overactive thyroid gland, in turn, makes your heart beat faster, causing tachycardia.
Consult with your doctor if you’ve noticed any of these symptoms in yourself or your relatives.
The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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