The thyroid gland is able to influence the metabolic processes in your body when it produces hormones (1). The thyroid is a hormonal gland that is able to regulate body functions by releasing hormones into the bloodstream. The hormones will be produced when the body requires energy. The body will require more energy than usual when it is cold, growing and even during pregnancy (2).
The thyroid gland is situated at the front of the neck and is below the voice box and resembles a butterfly. The lobes, which may be found on the right and the left of the neck, are connected by a strip of tissue. Most thyroids are in the region of 20 to 60 grams.
The thyroid gland plays a key role in producing three important hormones:
- Triiodothyronine or T3
- Tetraiodothyronine or T4
Although the gland is able to produce all three, only T3 and T4 are regarded as thyroid hormones. Iodine is one of the components in both hormones, therefore, it is considered a crucial substance for thyroid metabolism. As the thyroid hormones are extremely important, the body usually has an adequate supply of T3 and T4. You can find some of the hormones in the thyroid as droplets and some are attached to the carrier proteins, which can be found in the blood.
During periods of deficiency, the body is able to release T3 and T4 from the proteins in the blood. Another great source of the hormones is the follicles, which can be found in the thyroid tissue.
The thyroid gland produces three key hormones, which are known as T3, T4 and Calcitonin. When the body does not have enough quantity, it is able to release T3 and T4 from proteins that are found in the blood.
Thyroid disorders will vary from one individual to the next (3). The disorders may be insignificant such as an enlarged gland, which does not require any treatment, or they can be extremely serious such as chronic cancer. In most cases where patients suffered from thyroid disorders was when the patient experienced an excessive production of T3 and T4. When the body has produced copious thyroid hormones, it can lead to a condition called hyperthyroidism. When the body produces an inadequate supply of thyroid hormones, a condition called hypothyroidism develops (4) .
What Causes Thyroid Disorders?
Hyperthyroidism can occur in the following ways:
- Toxic Adenomas - This occurs when the nodules are formed in the thyroid gland, thereby, disrupting the body's chemical balance.
- Cancerous Growths - Not many cases of this have been reported, but evidence has shown that, although rare, it is possible.
- Subacute Thyroiditis - This happens when the thyroid gland leaks excess hormones.
Hypothyroidism can occur in the following ways:
- Removal of the Thyroid Gland - This happens when the thyroid gland has been removed during surgery.
- Lithium - When patients ingest this drug, they increase the risk of suffering from hypothyroidism.
- Excessive Iodine Intake- If someone consumes a lot of iodine, he/she can be at risk of developing hypothyroidism (5).
Hypothyroidism is a very serious condition. If it is not treat it immediately, it may gradually lead to a myxedema coma, which is a life-threatening condition (6). Immediate hormone treatments are available in order to avoid a fatal situation.
The causes of hyperthyroidism are toxic adenomas (which disrupts the body's chemical balance), cancerous growths in the thyroid gland and leaking hormones from the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism occurs during surgery if the thyroid gland is removed, ingestion of lithium and excessive consumption of iodine.
Healing Your Thyroid Gland
Examine Your Diet
The first place that you should begin with to heal your thyroid is by taking stock of your current diet. Research has shown that particular foods are responsible for causing thyroid dysfunction. Foods such as kale, cabbage and broccoli, as well as soy foods, have been identified as the triggers to thyroid dysfunction.
Evidence has shown that gluten is able to slow down the metabolism and certain patients have experienced fatigue and weight gain as a result of being sensitive to gluten (7). Certain toxins such as mercury have shown to slow down the thyroid. Apart from foods and toxins, stress has been identified as one of the causes of thyroid disorders. When the adrenal gland is burnt out, this is very serious for hypothyroidism.
Additionally, eating the correct foods can help tremendously. The best food to consume are the ones that contain high amounts of iodine and omega-3 fatty acids. Examples of these types of foods include fish, salmon and sea vegetables.
When you exercise, thyroid gland secretion is stimulated and tissue sensitivity is increased to thyroid hormones. The main aim of exercise to heal the thyroid is to sweat copiously and circulate hormones (8). Besides running on the treadmill or engaging in CrossFit, you can opt for the sauna or steam baths. This is a great way to release the pesticides from your body that are causing thyroid disorders.
Test The Thyroid Gland
In order to get the correct information about what is causing the thyroid disorder, you need to have your thyroid tested. After the blood tests has been performed and you are aware of your symptoms, then you can make a decision of how to treat it properly.
Prescription and Non-Prescription Medications
Individuals who are suffering from hypothyroidism should consume thyroid hormone replacement medication on an empty stomach. In addition, there are many natural supplements available to promote thyroid health. Speak to your healthcare practitioner for more information about what is right for you.
You may deploy several methods to heal your thyroid. The first and most important method is to look at your diet. Make sure you are getting enough exercise, especially cardio exercise to ensure that you are flushing out all the pesticides out of your body. You need to eat the correct foods such as salmon, fish and seaweeds. Testing the thyroid is extremely important for finding out the symptoms of the disorder. Speak with your physician about which medications may be right for you.
Our Conclusion On Thyroid Health
Even the smallest glands in our bodies contribute greatly to our health. If you think you may be suffering from a thyroid disorder, don't take it lightly. Finding the right treatment for your thyroid gland is within your reach.