In the course of endocrine (hormone-related) disorders, thyroid problems are gaining primacy, second only to diabetes mellitus. Cases of people with thyroid disorders are uprising and if not handled in time, it can bring about several other health problems i.e. high cholesterol, triglycerides, high BP & even a heart attack. Thyroid disorders are widespread among women, as they go through many hormonal changes at some stage in puberty, pregnancy & menopause. Difficult infertility may be attributed to an inefficient thyroid, as this can prevent ovulation and cause problems with menstruation.
Thyroid Gland Metabolism
Thyroid gland is the major REGULATOR of metabolism affecting overall functioning of the body. It is the only gland which can absorb iodine from food we eat and use it to make, store and release thyroid hormones viz. thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3) & calcitonin. Other nutrients that boost thyroid functions include zinc, riboflavin, niacin & vitamin E. These hormones (T3 & T4) regulate the rate of metabolism; affect the growth and rate of function of many other systems in the body. Calcitonin plays key role in calcium homeostasis. This butterfly-shaped gland is located in the front part of lower neck & controlled by the pituitary gland that lies beneath brain in skull cavity. Pituitary gland is ON-OFF switch controlling thyroid gland when it senses the low level of thyroid hormones in blood stream, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is secreted.
When this automotive mechanism got impaired the thyroid gland either releases too much thyroid hormones or stop secreting at all, regardless of the brain sending signals or no signal for production & secretion of hormones. The thyroid gland might produce too much hormone (hyperthyroidism), compelling the body to use energy faster than it should, or too little hormone (hypothyroidism), making the body to use energy at reduced speed than it should. Consequently, iodine uptake by the thyroid gland get altered which leads to the hormone’s inability to facilitate the normal balance of chemical reactions in body. Iodine plays a significant role in synthesis of the thyroid hormone & selenium support in recycling of iodine by the body.
Both increase & decrease in thyroid blood level is unsafe for human body which leads to many bodily dysfunctions. Enlargement of thyroid gland is one of the evident thyroid disease symptoms, others are listed here under:
- Consume nutritionally diet.
- Maintain appropriate body weight.
- Take on stress-reducing activities yoga.
- Get enough sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Drink enough water
- Goitrogenic foods (raw cruciferous vegetables & soy products)
- Too much of seafood
- Artificial sweeteners made of aspartame
- High dose of nutrition supplements
- High fat/ oily & spicy foodstuffs
- Processed food items
- Smoking & alcohol
- Plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains (high fiber diet)
- Slowly, chew each morsel of food thoroughly
- Small portions at frequent intervals.
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