The thyroid is one of the important endocrine glands in the body. It is a butterfly shaped gland in the neck. It mainly regulates metabolism in the body. It contains follicular and parafollicular cells, which produce hormones such as T3, T4 and calcitonin. The production of the hormones T3 and T4 is regulated by another hormone, TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) from the master gland, the pituitary. Iodide is required for the production of T3 and T4.
Actions: Free form of thyroid hormones (constitutes 1%) is responsible for all actions, while 99% is found in bound form. Among T3 and T4, free T3 is responsible for physiological actions.
- Increases Basal metabolic rate: Oxygen consumption
- Carbohydrate, lipid portion, cholesterol mechanism, growth of brain, bone
- Increase responsiveness of the heart to circulating catecholamine like norepinephrine (that controls heart rate, stroke volume, and contractility of the heart)
- Increases body heat
Hypothyroidism cold intolerance
Hyperthyroidism heat intolerance
The two major thyroid conditions are
- Hyperthyroidism: excessive production of T3 and T4.
- Hypothyroidism: decreased production of T3 and T4.
Signs and Symptoms
It depends on the underlying condition.
- Warm, moist skin
- Weight loss
- Heat intolerance
- Hunger and thirst
- The most common cause of iodine deficiency
- Thinning hair, hair loss
- Puffy face
- Enlarged thyroid
- Slow HR
- Poor appetite
- Irregular menstruation
- Weight gain
- Poor memory
Disorders That Cause Hyperthyroidism
- Grave’s disease, toxic multinodular goitre, toxic adenoma
Disorders That Cause Hypothyroidism
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is one of the most common thyroid tests. It is a blood test to evaluate the level of thyroid hormone in the body. The thyroid gland is supervised by the pituitary gland, which is present in the brain. If the thyroid gland produces less hormone, the pituitary gland will generate more TSH to ensure normal functioning, and vice versa. If TSH levels are high in the blood, that means that the thyroid gland is secreting less hormone, and if TSH levels are low in the blood, it simply implies that the thyroid gland is secreting hormones in large quantities. This is how thyroid is diagnosed at the basic level. Based on the complexities and condition of the patient, doctors may suggest a few more combinations of tests for a clear understanding.
Ways to reduce the risk of thyroid – preventive measures
Thyroid glands are sensitive glands. Intake of too much chemicals can interfere with the normal working of the gland.
- Stop smoking
- Stop intake of tobacco products.
- Avoid excessive intake of processed foods, oily, and spicy foods.
- Healthy sleeping habits
- Reduce stress through healthy practices like meditation, yoga, and exercise.
Early diagnosis is an effective way to manage the thyroid. Thyroid disorders can be easily managed with proper professional advice and timely check-ups. Neogencare is one such reliable source that can be a guiding partner and a helping hand. The Neogencare team can arrange for tests and teleconsultation as well. The motive is to provide professional help at the convenience of a click.
Meanwhile, if you notice certain signs, you can also easily do a neck check at home.
Neck check: Stand in front of the mirror and closely examine the collarbone area. Look for any kind of lumps, nodules, or swelling. Immediately consult a doctor if you notice anything unusual.
These simple steps can prove to be very effective in managing the thyroid.