The thyroid gland is a vital organ that regulates all functions. Therefore, it appears to be a kind of mirror for your general health. Once a breakdown occurs, the whole system begins to collapse. It has been estimated that women are 10 times as likely to go down with a thyroid disorder as men.
What is the thyroid gland?The thyroid gland integrates into a chainwork, which also includes the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Located in the front area of the neck, this butterfly-shaped gland secretes a group of hormones, which regulate metabolism. Particularly, these hormones regulate such vital functions and parameters as digestion, breathing, heartbeat, body weight, menstruation, etc.
How hormones are produced?The thyroid gland absorbs iodine, which comes into the body with food, and transforms it into triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones are infused into the bloodstream and reach every little cell. Thus they regulate the speed of metabolic processes in all systems. The thyroid gland’s activity is regulated by thyrotropin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. In turn, the pituitary secretion is regulated by hypothalamic thyrotropin.
What thyroid issues do we face?When your thyroid gland produces more T3 and T4 when your body needs (hyperthyroidism), it speeds up functions and leads to insomnia, racing heartbeat, anxiety, diarrhea, weight loss, irritability, hyperactivity, etc. Vice versa, when your body runs low on these hormones (hypothyroidism), everything slows down and gives you lethargy, depression, fatigue, lack of concentration, weight gain, low body temperature, constipation, lack of libido, etc. If you suspect a thyroid problem in yourself, please, contact your health care provider. You are in for a complex examination and a check for the following hormones: TSH, T3, T4, Reverse T3, TPOAb (Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies), and TgAb (Thyroglobulin Antibodies). Based on test results, the doctor will determine the problem, its severity, and outline treatment. Many of thyroid patients deal with autoimmune thyroid dysfunction, which results from hypo- (Hashimoto’s disease) and hyperthyroidism (Graves’ disease). These conditions cause the immune system to attack the thyroid gland Unfortunately, today treatment of thyroid issues is often confined to mere symptom treatment. Needless to say, addressing signs of the disease, not the disease itself, brings nothing but temporary relief. To eliminate an illness, we should target the very root of it. With thyroid disorder, it appears to be very complex.
What are the risk factors?Dr. Myers, who suffers Graves’ disease herself, has done a lot of research on it. She has concluded on the most common factors affecting our health: unhealthy diet, leaky gut (increased permeability of the small intestine), infections, exposure to toxic substances, and never-stopping stress. Many of these factors are always there, and we just don’t realize that.
What can we do about it?Dr. Myers suggests an integrated approach. In other words, all advanced functional treatment strategies should come along with appropriate dieting and lifestyle adjustment.
- Make sure your menu includes foods rich in vitamins (B, A, D), and minerals, such as zinc, iodine, selenium, iron, etc. Choose fresh products (fruit, vegetables, meat, etc.), which also contain proteins, fats, aminoacids, etc. There some herbs that even out the work of the thyroid gland, such as lemon balm, motherwort, bugleweed, etc. These have a calming effect on the gland. Cut down (at least temporarily) on sugar, caffeine, alcohol, salt, grains, legumes.
- Do your uttermost to reduce stress! Choose a suitable time management strategy. Do not clutter your workday with businesses, which you cannot physically manage before deadline.
If your doctor identifies a thyroid problem, please, do not be shy to discuss all these factors with him/her, including personal ones. Join efforts and find the best cure possible!