What are thyroids?
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck that produces thyroid hormones. It is located beneath the Adam’s apple, at the front of the windpipe. Thyroid cannot be felt when it is in its normal size. The thyroid, which is brownish-red in colour is densely packed with blood vessels. The predominant hormone is thyroxine, generally known as T4. Thyroid hormones have a wide range of effects on metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature. Adequate thyroid hormone levels are critical for brain development during infancy and childhood.
When thyroid doesn’t work properly, it can have an adverse effect on the rest of your body. Hyperthyroidism is a condition that occurs when body produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism occurs when body produces insufficient thyroid hormone. Both conditions are serious and should be treated by the doctor.
Function of Thyroid
The thyroid gland plays an important role in our bodies, releasing and controlling thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism. The thyroid regulates your metabolism with two hormones: T4 (thyroxine, which contains four iodide atoms) and T3 (triiodothyronine, contains three iodide atoms). These two hormones are produced by the thyroid and tell the body’s cells how much energy to use. When your thyroid is functioning properly, it will produce the appropriate number of hormones to keep your metabolism running at a normal rate. As the hormones are depleted, the thyroid creates replacement hormones. The pituitary gland is in charge of all of this. The pituitary gland, which is located in the center of the skull, below the brain, monitors and controls the number of thyroid hormones in your bloodstream. When the pituitary gland detects a lack of thyroid hormones or an increase in hormone levels in your body, it will adjust the amounts with its own hormone. Thyroid stimulating hormone is the name given to this hormone (TSH). The TSH will be sent to the thyroid, and it will inform the thyroid of what needs to be done to restore the body’s normal function.
About Thyroid disease
Thyroid disease affects a wide range of people. Thyroid disease can affect males, females, neonates, teenagers, and the elderly. Hypothyroidism can be present at birth or develop as you become older (often after menopause in women). Thyroid disease is quite common in the US, affecting an estimated 20 million people. Thyroid illness is diagnosed five to eight times more frequently in women than in men. Thyroid disease is a broad term for a medical condition that prevents the thyroid from producing the appropriate number of hormones. Thyroid glands normally produce hormones that keep our body from running normally.
Types of Thyroid disease
- Hyperthyroidism – Occurs when your thyroid gland produces an excessive amount of hormone, causing your body to go into overdrive. When the thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone, our body burns energy too quickly. This is known as hyperthyroidism. Using energy too quickly will do more than just make us tired; it will also cause our hearts to beat faster, cause us to lose weight without even trying, and even make us feel nervous.
- Hypothyroidism- Occurs when there is insufficient hormone production, causing you to feel sluggish. The thyroid gland may produce insufficient thyroid hormone. This is known as hypothyroidism. When we have insufficient thyroid hormone in our body, we become tired, gain weight, and even become unable to tolerate cold temperatures.
- Postpartum thyroiditis – This condition affects 5% to 9% of women after childbirth. It is usually a transient condition.
- Iodine deficiency – Iodine is used by the thyroid gland to generate hormones. Iodine insufficiency is a worldwide issue that affects millions of individuals.
- A thyroid gland that isn’t working – The thyroid gland does not always function properly from birth. This affects approximately 1 in every 4,000 newborns. If the child is not treated, he or she may develop both physical and mental problems in the future. In the hospital, all newborns are given a screening blood test to check their thyroid function.
- Goiter – Also known as thyroid swelling. Iodine deficiency or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, a disorder characterized by thyroid inflammation, can cause goiters, which can be relatively harmless.
- Thyroiditis – Thyroid inflammation caused by a viral infection or an autoimmune condition. Thyroiditis can be painful, or it can be asymptomatic.
- Hyperthyroidism – Is characterised by excessive thyroid hormone production. The most prevalent cause of hyperthyroidism is the Graves’ disease or an overactive thyroid nodule.
- Hypothyroidism – Hypothyroidism is a condition in which thyroid hormone production is reduced. Thyroid damage induced by autoimmune illness is the most common cause of hypothyroidism.
- Graves’ disease – Graves’ disease is an autoimmune condition that causes hyperthyroidism by overstimulating the thyroid.
- Thyroid cancer – Thyroid cancer is a rare cancer that may generally be cured. Surgery, radiation, and hormone therapy can all be used to treat thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer survival rate – Roughly 85 out of 100 men (approximately 85%) will live for at least 5 years after being diagnosed with cancer. After being diagnosed with cancer, approximately 90 out of 100 women (nearly 90%) will live for at least 5 years.
- Thyroid nodule – A thyroid nodule is a tiny abnormal mass or lump in the gland. Thyroid nodules are a very common occurrence. Only a few of them are malignant. They may or may not secrete too many hormones, resulting in hyperthyroidism.
- Thyroid storm – It is a rare form of hyperthyroidism in which thyroid hormone levels are very high and cause serious sickness.
What Is Armour Thyroid?
Armour Thyroid (thyroid tablets) is a natural product derived from animal thyroid glands that is used to treat hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone), goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), and as part of a medical test for thyroid disorders.
What Are Side Effects of Armour Thyroid?
Armour Thyroid commonly causes the following side effects: – Hair loss during the first few months of treatment. This is usually a temporary side effect as your body adjusts to Armour Thyroid.
One should see the doctor if they experience any of the following serious Armour Thyroid side effects: Allergic reactions (rash, itching, swelling [especially of the face/tongue/throat] severe dizziness, difficulty breathing), increased sweating, heat sensitivity, mental/mood changes (nervousness, mood swings), tiredness, diarrhea, shaking (tremor), headache, shortness of breath, chest pain, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, swelling hands/ankles/feet, or seizures
What is Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)?
Thyroid eye disease is characterized by inflammation of the eye muscles, eyelids, tear glands, and fatty tissues behind the eye. This can cause the eyes and eyelids to become red, swollen, and uncomfortable, as well as cause the eyes to bulge forward (‘staring’ or ‘bulging’ eyes). In some cases, the muscles that move the eyes swell and stiffen, causing them to no longer move in sync; this can result in double vision. TED can occasionally result in reduced vision due to pressure on the nerve at the back of the eye or ulcers forming on the front of the eyes if the eyelids cannot close completely.
People might be at a higher risk of developing thyroid disease if:
- They have a history of thyroid disease in your family.
- Have a medical condition (e.g., pernicious anaemia, type 1 diabetes, primary adrenal insufficiency, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, or Turner syndrome).
- Take an iodine-containing medication (amiodarone).
- Are over the age of 60, particularly in women.
- Have received treatment for a thyroid condition or cancer in the past? (Thyroidectomy or radiation).
Is thyroid problem genetic?
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the disease is hereditary and can occur at any age in both men and women, but it is much more common in women aged 20 to 30. The more family members who have thyroid disease, the more likely there is a hereditary cause. And the greater the likelihood that the patient will develop a thyroid problem. More than 75% of thyroid disease patients have someone on one side of their family with thyroid disease.
Symptoms of thyroid disease
If a person has thyroid, they may experience a variety of symptoms.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid) include:
- Anxiety, impatience, and nervousness.
- Sleeping difficulties.
- Weight loss.
- Muscle tremors and muscle weakness.
- Menstrual irregularities or a complete stopping of the menstrual cycle.
- Uncomfortable in heat.
- Experiencing vision issues or irritation in the eyes.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) include:
- Feeling exhausted (fatigue).
- Gaining weight.
- Trouble remembering things.
- Heavy and frequent menstrual cycles.
- Hair becomes dry and coarse.
- Hoarse voice.
- Cold intolerance – A person suffering from cold sensitivity is unable to withstand chilly temperatures.
Thyroid disease diagnosis
Thyroid disease can be difficult to identify at times since the symptoms are similar to those of other disease. But we fortunately have tests to determine if we have thyroid issues. Tests are: –
- Blood tests
- Blood tests are one of the most reliable techniques to diagnose a thyroid disease. Thyroid blood tests measure the level of thyroid hormones in one’s blood to determine if thyroid gland is functioning normally. These tests require blood to be taken from a vein in the arm.
- Imaging tests
- In many circumstances, examining the thyroid can provide answers to several questions. A thyroid scan, which is an imaging test, may be performed by your healthcare professional. This allows a clinician to check for changes in the size, shape, or growth of nodules in the thyroid gland.
- An ultrasound is a type of imaging test that your doctor could employ which typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Physical exams
- A physical exam at your healthcare provider’s office is another easy way to evaluate your thyroid. The doctor examines the patient’s neck for any thyroid growths or enlargements during this brief and painless assessment.
The goal of the healthcare professional is to get thyroid hormone levels back to normal. This can be done in a variety of methods, depending on the source of your thyroid issue. Treatment options for hyperthyroidism (abnormally high thyroid hormone levels) include:
- Anti-thyroid treatments: (methimazole and propylthioracil) inhibit your thyroid from producing hormones.
- Radioactive iodine: This treatment destroys thyroid cells, preventing them from producing enough thyroid hormones.
- Beta blockers: They do not affect the number of hormones in your body, but they can help you manage your symptoms.
- Surgery: As a more permanent treatment option, doctor may surgically remove the thyroid (thyroidectomy). This will prevent it from producing hormones. However, we require to have thyroid replacement hormones for the rest of your life.
If we have low thyroid hormone levels (hypothyroidism), main treatment option is:
- Thyroid replacement therapy: This medication is a synthetic (man-made) method of reintroducing thyroid hormones into your body. Levothyroxine is a commonly used medication. We can control thyroid disease and live a normal life by taking medication.
Recent Research on Thyroid
- Creation and preliminary validation of a machine learning system for the detection of thyroid dysfunction using normal laboratory tests. Researchers have come up with a versatile new screening tool that was successfully built from a machine-learning model method to discriminate hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism patients utilizing 23 features. – https://www.nature.com/articles/s43856-022-00071-1
- Researchers discovered a statistically significant reduction in the likelihood of post-operative haemorrhage in thyroid surgery performed with alternate cautery sources versus typical cautery sources. However, it was discovered that using these devices was linked to a 4.95-minute increase in operative time, which was statistically significant. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-01953-5
- Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine have discovered a basic biology finding on thyroid hormone function that could lead to new treatments for obesity, diabetes, and related disorders, as well as treat a variety of metabolic diseases. http://genesdev.cshlp.org/content/35/5-6/367
Leading a normal life with a thyroid disease
Thyroid disease is frequently a life-long medical condition that must be constantly managed. This frequently entails taking medication on a daily basis. Healthcare provider will monitor treatments and make changes as needed. It may take some time to figure out the right treatment for thyroid but with proper medication thyroid disease usually allows one to lead a normal life.
How to improve thyroid health?
The best ways to improve thyroid function and health are as follows:
- Exercise – Exercising naturally increases metabolism. Everyone, but especially those with hypothyroidism or at risk of developing hypothyroidism, should exercise at least three times per week for at least 40 minutes per workout.
- Food to eat – Iodine is required for the body to produce thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which activates the thyroid. Dairy products containing iodine include eggs, milk, cheese, and yoghurt. Sea foods, such as seaweed, shellfish, and saltwater fish, also contain a lot of iodine. These are the food to improve thyroid health.
- Food to avoid – Anything from the cabbage family, such as cabbage, kale, and watercress, is one of the most important foods to avoid. Avoid broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, rutabaga, peanuts, and soybeans as well.
- Obtain a Blood Panel Analysis – According to the American Thyroid Association, nearly 20 million people in the United States have a thyroid condition. They go on to estimate that up to 60% of these people are unaware that their thyroid is malfunctioning. If a person is experiencing thyroid symptoms or has a family history of thyroid disorders, he or she should have a thyroid blood test to determine his or her health.
- The natural ways to improve thyroid health is by eating a portion of Essential Fats at each meal, such as extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, raw unsalted nuts and seeds, avocados, and oily fish, will improve thyroid hormone levels by increasing the ability of our cell receptors to take up thyroid hormone. Above given are the ways to improve and maintain thyroid health