Thyroid Problems: Causes

The thyroid is a small, butterfly shaped gland located at the front of the neck. The thyroid produces the thyroid hormones, including the two major ones, namely the tri-iodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), which are essential for regulating the metabolic activities, growth, and several other body functions.

Thyroid disease, malfunctions of the thyroid gland, hyperthyroid (overactive) or hypothyroid (underactive) are showing signs in our population of becoming an epidemic says "The Colorado Thyroid Disease Prevalence Study". This is a trend across the board in American health, where we are seeing many common diseases moving to an epidemic stage. You name a disease and it is probably an epidemic or moving toward becoming an epidemic like thyroid disease.

A patient complaining of hair loss to a doctor usually undergoes a thyroid test to rule this out. There are generally two types of thyroid disorders either of which result in thinning hair and stunted hair growth. These disorders have to do with Thyroxin, a hormone produced by the thyroid glands involved in the body's metabolic rates, protein synthesis and influencing physical growth and development.
1. Hypothyroidism happens when there is underproduction of the hormone thyroxin. The thyroid gland does not produce enough for what the body needs.

2. Hyperthyroidism or Graves' Disease happens when there overproduction of the thyroxin hormone. People who suffer some form of auto-immune diseases are likely to be more vulnerable to hyperthyroidism.

  • Low amount of iodine in the diet
  • Hashimoto's disease, associated with hypothyroidism
  • Genetic defect in the receptors responsible for releasing TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone
  • Radiation treatments that were undergone at an early age such as in child hood to the head or neck area
Thyroid disease affects different aspects of pregnancy and postpartum health for the mother and the newborn child. There have been varied and contradicting practices with regards to thyroid disease and pregnancy. As a result a group of endocrinologists came together to publish a journal containing clinical guidelines for the management of thyroid problems during pregnancy and during the postpartum period.

Knowing the risk factors associated with thyroid disease is a crucial part of the successful prevention in an adverse thyroid condition. It is important to educate yourself as much as possible and be informed about thyroid and autoimmune disease.

Selenium supplements are tagged as the "sleeping giant" of natural thyroid remedies. Selenium deficiency is known to reduce the activity of thyroid hormones. It suppresses the activity of anti-thyroid antibodies, which is helpful in soothing thyroid inflammation or thyroiditis. In this light, eliminating selenium deficiency is the key to improving thyroid problems.

Thyroid cancer results to hyperthyroidism, which is a condition that requires you to control your iodine intake. Thyroid cancer patients need to change their eating pattern to exclude foods that contain sizable amounts of iodine. These include fast food, pizza, seafood, dairy, bread, eggs and different kinds of sauces. Even tap water contains iodine and should be avoided.

All the glands in the endocrine system work together, just as all the parts of an engine must work together for the engine to operate normally. This is particularly true with the pituitary-thyroid-adrenal gland combination. In an article by Michael Schachter, MD, FACAM, he notes, "if a person has evidence of weak adrenal function, the adrenal gland problem must be treated first, or simultaneous to the thyroid treatment".

Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

  • Pain in the throat or neck that may extend to the ears.
  • A lump at the base of your neck
  • A hoarse voice that does not get better
  • Sore throat or difficulty swallowing that does not get better
  • A lump elsewhere in your neck
Indeed thyroid symptoms as so many and various sufferers can remain either undiagnosed or mis-diagnosed for many years. Without diagnoses their hormonal imbalance may go unrecognised and their chronic thyroid symptoms put down to other causes. This can have a devastating effect on a sufferers life. In extreme cases some of the symptoms of thyroid problems have even led to people being committed to mental health institutions, for they can truly feel and act as if they are going mad, or so depressed as to be suicidal.


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