Thyroid gland is located just below the skin and muscles at the front of the neck. Though it a small gland it has numerous tasks and it’s very important in the proper body functionality. Some of the responsibilities for the thyroid gland include the manufacture of thyroid hormone which is very essential in controlling metabolism, structure of bones, sexual development and growth. For it to manufacture this hormone, the thyroid gland needs a chemical substance called iodine that the body absorbs from the food and the drinks one takes .Thyroid hormones are released from the gland and transmitted to the body cells through the blood stream.
Thyroid disease now occurs when the thyroid doesn’t supply the proper amount of hormones needed in the body. Sometimes, the glands may become too overactive resulting in the production of large amounts of thyroid hormones which in turn can lead to a situation known as hyperthyroidism (this makes the body to use up energy more quickly than it should and the chemical activity such as metabolism in the cells speeds up). The situation causes nervousness, irritability, increased perspiration, intolerance to heat, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, muscle weakness, irregular menstrual cycle in girls and fast heartbeats.
Also the thyroid may also be underactive and this automatically means that there will be little production of the thyroid hormone resulting to a situation known as hypothyroidism where by the amount of hormone released into the blood stream is below normal supply and the body uses up the energy slowly and the chemical activities such as metabolism slows down. In such a situation one may feel depressed and sluggish and one may add weight regardless of the little food they eat. In both cases that is hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism the thyroid can be large than normal and the lamp can be felt under the skin at the front of the neck and that which is large enough to be seen is called goiter. This is much common to people who don’t get enough iodine in their diets.
Causes of thyroid
As it is the case to other ailments they are also various factors that lead to thyroid diseases. Some of those factors include:
Overproduction of thyroid hormones-this may be caused by a number of conditions such as:
- Graves disease which is common between the age of 20 and 40 and one is likely to suffer these condition if they smoke.thi is an autoimmune condition and it attacks thyroid which leads to the over production of thyroid hormone the eyes may also be affected causing discomfort or double vision.
- Thyroid nodules which can cause abnormal thyroid tissue which affects the normal production of thyroxin causing overactive thyroid. Iodine supplements which can cause thyroid gland to produce too much thyroid hormone.
- Amiodarone which is a type of treatment which helps to control irregular heartbeat and if one has non-toxic nodules in the thyroid gland undertaking this kind of treatment causes hyperthyroidism as it contains iodine.
- Follicular thyroid cancer this occurs in rare cases only if the cancer cells in you thyroid gland produce thyroxin.
Under production of thyroid hormone- this state is known as hypothyroidism. Its caused by different factors such as:
- Thyroid surgery and in this case hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is removed or the remaining thyroid tissues are not functional.
- Radioactive iodine therapy which is often used to treat hyperthyroidism. This type of therapy can destroy the thyroid gland leading to hypothyroidism.
- In addition infections such as viral and bacterial can temporarily damage the thyroid gland leading to a short term form of hypothyroidism.
- Also there are some of the medicines that can interfere with normal production of thyroid hormone lithium being one of them.
- Also in very rare cases the disorders of pituitary and hypothalamus can lead to these conditions as they produce hormones that that control the thyroid.
- Excessive iodine can also cause the disorder though the situation is always temporary.
- Congenital hypothyroidism and this is a case whereby one is born without proper functioning thyroid gland.
Symptoms of Thyroid
As any other ailment thyroid has its specific symptoms through which one is able to tell if they are suffering from the infection. Some of these symptoms include:
- A good example of such symptoms is the muscle or Joint Pains, Carpal Tunnel and Tendonitis Problems-Aches and pains in ones muscles and joints, weakness in the arms and a tendency to develop carpal tunnel in the arms or hands, tarsal tunnel in the legs can all be possible symptoms of undiagnosed thyroid problems.
- In addition, neck discomfort and enlargement where there is a feeling of swellings in the neck, discomfort with turtlenecks or neckties, a hoarse voice or a visibly enlarged thyroid.
- Hair and skin changes are also good symptoms of thyroid and in this case there is particularly a hair loss also hair frequently becomes brittle, coarse and dry, while breaking off and falling out easily. Skin can become coarse, thick, dry, and scaly.
- Bowel Problems are also common where there is severe or long-term constipation and these are often associated with hypothyroidism while diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome is associated with hyperthyroidism.
- Menstrual Irregularities and Fertility Problems are also some of the symptoms whereby heavier, more frequent and more painful periods are frequently associated with hypothyroidism, and shorter, lighter or infrequent menstruation can be associated with hyperthyroidism. Infertility can also be associated with undiagnosed thyroid condition.
- Other symptoms related with hypothyroidism include: fatigue, feeling run down and sluggish, depression, difficulty concentration, excessive and lastly weight gain.
- Those which are related to the hyperthyroidism include: nervousness increased perspiration, thinning of your skin, irritability, shaky hands, panic disorder, and insomnia and racing heart.
Home remedies for thyroid
Some of the home remedies of this disease include: Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies yourself!
- Fruit– To start with fruit juices such as orange, pineapple and apple should be taken frequently and the bowel should be cleaned using lukewarm water on daily bases.
- Well Balanced Diet– The patient should also adopt a well balanced diet containing seeds, nuts, grains, vegetable and fruits.
- Rest– After treatment a patient should rest and spend some time one bed and if the symptoms subside, then the patient should have more and more exercises.
- Avoid these Foods-Certain foods should be avoided by the patients as they are injurious such include: white flour products, white sugar, flesh foods, fried or greasy food, tea coffee and alcohol.
- No Drugs– No drugs should be taken as they cause irritation of the tissue.
- Avoid Irritation– Anything that is likely to cause emotional upset should be avoided and care should be taken so as to avoid irritation and exhaustion.
- Eleuthero- This is among the common herb that provides ideal remedy for nearly all types of thyroid problems. It has been revered for its ability to boost the immune systems of those that are suffering from a variety of thyroid problems. It also helps one in adapting to stressful situations that are attributed to thyroid disorders. Even if it is among the most ideal herbal remedies for thyroid problems, it ought to be administered in the right dosages for it has a number of side effects if used in excess.
- Echinacea- This is the other popular herb, which has been revered for its effectiveness in countering thyroid problems .It has a number of properties that gives it the ability to curb thyroid inflammation, which is the major cause of thyroid problems. It also has the ability to boost the body's immune, therefore helping those that are suffering from thyroid problems recover quickly. It also has the ability of curing nearly every type of thyroid problem.
- Bugleweed- Bugleweed is the other herb that is not only ideal for treating thyroid problems, but also the ideal herbal remedy for treating thyroid symptoms. In addition, it has the ability to reduce the pain that is caused by some of thyroid problems. It is revered for having the least side effects as compared to other types of herbal remedies that are used for countering thyroid diseases.
- Bladderwrack- This is the other common herb, which is used as an ideal remedy for thyroid problems. It is key in restoring the health of those that are suffering from various thyroid problems. In addition it helps in countering the inflammation that is caused by thyroid problems, alongside boosting the body's immune. Doctors and other medical specialist have insisted that one should use bladder wrack according to the prescriptions from a doctor. This is simply because it has a number of side effects if used in large quantities.
Diet for Thyroid
There are some of the foods or rather the diet that one should take either to avoid thyroid. Some of the foods include:
- One should include in his or her diet food reach in selenium as it’s a major component needed for thyroid to manage calcium absorption. Some of these foods include seafood, shellfish, eggs, beef liver, beef kidney, wheat germ, Brazil nuts, mushroom, garlic and onions.
- Also one should include food reach in thiamine in their diet as it is important in maintaining optimum thyroid function such foods include cereals, milk and vegetables.
- Vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts can reduce the effects of the ingredients that harm the thyroid.
- In addition people undergoing thyroid treatment should avoid food made of soy as it can interfere with proper absorption of the medicine.
- Foods that contain goitrogens are good in blocking the absorption of iodine which is an essential ingredient in healthy thyroid function.
Prevention of Thyroid
As it is always said, prevention is better than cure and therefore it’s very important for one to know the prevention measures of thyroid diseases some of these prevention measures include:
- One should be very careful about the use of too much soy as excessive soy isoflavones may trigger or worsen hypothyroidism, goiter or nodules. Some doctors advise avoiding soy supplements and powders and eating no more than one small serving of soy foods daily.
- A parent should not feed infants soy-based formulas. As there's evidence that this can contribute to later risk of thyroid disease.
- In addition one should drink bottled water as fluoride in water, and a rocket fuel manufacturing by-product called perchlorate are substances in water that may trigger or worsen the risk of thyroid problems.
- When it comes to iodine, one should think of moderation as too little or too much iodine including that taken as kelp or bladder wrack can increase your risk of hypothyroidism or rather goiter.
- One should also avoid smoking as smoking can damage the thyroid, and may worsen some existing thyroid conditions.
- One should also try to reduce their stress as reducing stress using effective mind-body techniques can play a part in preventing thyroid disease.
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