The thyroid is the true master of our health: the signals of your body that you can not underestimate.
Do you feel depressed, apathetic, suffer from anxiety, tachycardia, can’t get pregnant, and complain about mood swings? Check your thyroid, a small gland located at the front of the neck, so important that it is considered vital because, in its absence, it is impossible to live. More than 6million Italians have a thyroid problem, and a third of them completely ignore it, attributing the manifest symptoms to other and various pathologies. This gland regulates many essential functions of our organism, from the blood circulation to the rhythm of sleep, from the metabolism of the bones to the development of the nervous system, from the heartbeat to fertility. Its hormones heavily affect the mood, have effects on the basal metabolism of all tissues, including brains, and act on the disintegration of fats, protein synthesis, and gluconeogenesis. To deepen read also: Back pain, the useless drugs abused To understand the vital role of thyroid hormones, just think that their deficit in fetal age or early childhood causes “cretinism,” a pathology characterized by incomplete development of the central nervous system and mental retardation.
The primary function of the thyroid is the production of thyroid hormones, which induce a wide range of effects on the human body, including the regulation of appetite, intestinal mobility, absorption of essential substances, protein synthesis, cholesterol level, speed and strength of the heartbeat, blood flow, even affecting libido, sleep, menstrual cycle, the pattern of thought and reasoning. To function properly, the thyroid must have adequate amounts of iodine, an oligo element essential for its hormonal production, subject to daily losses through urine and sweat, so it has been added to the common kitchen salt to increase its intake through nutrition and facilitate thyroid function.
Iodine that does well – Without iodine the thyroid fails to synthesize its hormones, establishing pathologies such as going and intellectual deficit, and in addition to the daily requirement of this element, 150micrograms for adults, 90 for children up to 6 years, in pregnancy and breastfeeding are needed 250micrograms for the regular growth of the child. The thyroid also produces calcitonin, a hormone that regulates calcium levels in the blood and, therefore, in the bones, in a deficiency of which rapid reabsorption of osteoclasts is established, with a high risk of fractures even in the absence of trauma.
Decreased production of thyroid hormones causes hypothyroidism, a condition characterized by typical symptoms, such as weight gain, fatigue, constipation, hair loss, cold intolerance, slowing heart rate, and excessive menstrual bleeding. The role of thyroid on fertility is often underestimated, as many women with latent hypothyroidism fail to undertake a pregnancy, using assisted fertilization techniques that would not be necessary. Worldwide, the most frequent causes of hypothyroidism are the lack of iodine and thyroiditis of Hashimoto, an autoimmune disease (linked to a selenium deficiency), a condition that absolutely must be corrected with the replacement of the oral thyroxin hormone. This treatment takes a few weeks to stabilize and become effective.
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Excessive production of thyroid hormones, on the other hand, causes hyperthyroidism. This syndrome expresses a variety of nonspecific symptoms, including weight loss, increased appetite, insomnia, the perennial sensation of heat, tremor, palpitations, anxiety, and nervousness. Irritability, emotional lability, and impaired concentration are the triad of classic symptoms that occur in hyperthyroidism, although in many cases, diarrhea, chest pain, hair loss, and muscle weakness also appear. Benign nodules – Excess hormones always result in an increase in heart rhythm and a risk factor for atrial fibrillation, in which thyroid function must always be studied.
Hyperthyroidism can also be iatrogenic, that is, caused by drugs such as amiodarone (an antiarrhythmic) or by an iodine contrast medium used for radiological investigations, or by a solitary thyroid adenoma or inflammation of the gland. The thyroid also, often produces thyroid nodules, which are generally simple cysts or benign adenomas, whose appearance through a simple ultrasound can direct towards diagnosis. Still, some of these may arise from the beginning as carcinomas, which impose the removal of a thyroid lobe or the entire gland, with an excellent prognostic result, since the neoplasias of the thyroid are considered in medicine the most “malignant,” and therefore treatable in almost all cases because they rarely metastasize. The thyroid, for the multiplicity of its functions and its regulatory interactions with all organs, is an essential gland, the “master” of our health, to the point that its absence is incompatible with life.
Patients who undergo complete surgical removal must take thyroid hormones as lifelong replacement therapy, carefully avoiding problems of intestinal absorption and mobility with other drugs to reach the optimal level of the same. Today, formulations in tablets or soft gel capsules of these drugs ensure greater bio-availability without interfering with the quality of life. However, these are artificial hormones, which must necessarily be taken daily orally, without forgetting and at set times, with frequent blood tests of hormonal production, to avoid risks of overstraining. If it is true that all hormones dictate the law for general health, as they regulate essential functions of our organism, it should be emphasized that those thyroids are the most important and the most symptomatic, since in their absence, you can absolutely not live, and you can also die. by Melania Rizzoli