The thyroid gland is one of the most important glands of the human body located in the throat. The location of the thyroid gland is just below the lump that appears in the male throat known as the Adams apple. The thyroid gland produces hormones that are responsible for managing the process of metabolism. Metabolism is the process that produces energy from food. Food is processed in a chemical reaction with oxygen to produce heat and energy. This is the way in which the body is able to provide energy for its various functions. The thyroid gland stimulates this function based on various factors such as the need for energy as well as the availability of fuel for energy production. There are other important areas where the thyroid gland works as well. The hormones released by the thyroid gland control important functions such as the bodys use of vitamins as well as the bodys production of muscle tissue.
There are two different conditions that can affect the thyroid gland. These are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism indicates the slow functioning of the thyroid gland. This would mean that metabolism and muscle growth tend to slow down. Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, occurs when the thyroid gland is functioning at an excessively high speed. Both these conditions are treatable if they are caused by some hormonal or chemical imbalance. However, in some cases, cancer could cause one of these problems. This involves a different and usually less successful course of treatment.
People who suffer from thyroid problems display a number of different symptoms. These symptoms can be used to figure out the underlying cause of their medical condition. People who suffer from hypothyroidism or low thyroid function will display symptoms that include poor cold tolerance, low energy levels, rapid onset of fatigue, low appetite and constipation. These conditions will happen fairly quickly as the condition sets in. There are other conditions such as dry skin, weight gain, hair loss, depression and loss of cognitive efficiency that come in at a later stage when patients are plagued with the condition for long periods of time. The problem of weight gain occurs because the body does not end up using its available energy resources. Some of these resources are therefore stored as fat for later use. This is what leads to weight gain.
For hyperthyroidism, there are some symptoms that affect the person which need to be understood. People with hyperthyroidism tend to suffer from insomnia, nervousness, frequent bowel movements, loss of weight, sweating, tremors and the feeling of being hot even in cool or cold conditions. Such individuals will also suffer from difficulty in concentration. As one can see, most of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism are reverse symptoms when compared to those that affect people with hypothyroidism.
It is important to understand that these symptoms are often difficult to notice. The issue is that most of these variations in body functions tend to be brushed off without being noticed. It is only when an individual takes stock of his or her health that the problem may come to light. Medical tests can be used to identify such problems so that a solution can be sought for the same.
As hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are two different conditions, they have different causes that act as triggers. There is obviously some relation between these causes as they affect the same gland. However, it is still necessary to differentiate the symptoms based on the type of thyroid issue that has affected the individual.
For hypothyroidism, the causes include genetic issues, tissue damage and defects in the tissue itself. Genetic issues may lead to the poor development of thyroid tissues. This would mean that the gland is less developed than it should be. The individual may therefore suffer from insufficient thyroid function. Tissue damage can occur as a result of physical injury, radiation damage or antibody damage. Physical injury to the throat may damage the thyroid gland which would lead to hypothyroidism. Radiation damage is associated with aggressive medical treatments, such as those used for cancer. This can shrink the gland or damage some of its tissue which would slow down the production of thyroid hormones. There are also some autoimmune medical conditions that could cause damage to the thyroid gland. An autoimmune condition is one where the body is attacked by its own immune system because of some perceived threat that has affected a part of the body. This threat does not actually exist. The damage that occurs to the body comes from the attack of the immune system which damages otherwise healthy tissue.
Hyperthyroidism may be caused by conditions that include thyroid gland inflammation, goiter, Graves disease and issues with the pituitary gland which, itself, stimulates the thyroid gland. People who suffer from thyroid cancer also tend to be affected by hyperthyroidism until their radiation treatment kicks in. Once this happens, the chances of hypothyroidism occurring are increased as some of the functioning thyroid cells will also be damaged by the process of radiation.
The remedies for thyroid problems depend on the type of thyroid issue that has affected the individual. For those with hyperthyroidism, it may be necessary to cut back on various foods that are stimulating to the body. In any case, the body will be producing more energy than it is supposed to because of excess thyroid stimulation. Therefore stimulants should be eliminated from the diet. One must also spend time burning the excess energy produced which is why exercise is important at this stage. Naturally, there is a need to visit a doctor who will guide the course of treatment. In many cases, remedies for thyroid problems are not actually associated with the condition itself. The problem of an overactive or under active thyroid may actually be caused by some other condition. The treatment for that condition will eventually end up helping to normalize the functioning of the thyroid gland. There is also the suggestion that non-medical techniques can be used to help improve the efficiency of thyroid gland function. A yoga program can be used to help improve the flexibility and efficiency of the body. This will also help to improve blood circulation. It is theorized that this will improve the functioning of the thyroid gland.
Thyroid problems tend to put the body into a state of imbalance. Therefore, when we speak of the diet for thyroid problems, it is important that this balance is brought back. In order to do this, one needs to follow a balanced and healthy diet. A balanced and healthy diet is one that includes all the important food groups in it. These food groups include fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and even fat. Heavy meals should be avoided altogether as these contain excess quantities of fat and may provide the body with more nutrition than it needs or than it is capable of using efficiently. The individual should also avoid processed foods and food or drink filled with stimulants. A shift to a healthier diet is, in any case, good for the body and will help to provide the body with all of the required nutrients.
For people who are suffering from hypothyroidism, it may be necessary to have food that helps with the production of energy. This includes items that may contain some stimulants like caffeine. It is still necessary, however, to make sure that the consumption of such food items occurs in moderation as this is best for the health of the individual. An individual suffering from this type of thyroid issue will also be prone to putting on weight as the body does not use as much of the nutrition as it should be using. Thus, the diet should be light and filled with fresh foods. All heavy foods should be avoided at this stage until the thyroid condition begins to normalize through various medications and treatments.
Thyroid gland problems occur all over the world and can affect any individual. It is important that these problems are dealt with in a timely and effective manner. One of the issues with thyroid problems is that the symptoms tend to present themselves slowly and mildly. The symptoms of nervousness or lack of concentration or lethargy all tend to be brushed away as temporary problems that the individual will eventually get rid of. This is the real challenge that an individual thyroid problems faces. Therefore, it is essential that an individual keeps track of his or her health. A thyroid test is also very easy to perform and one should not hesitate in taking such a blood test. This action can lead to the diagnosis of the condition which would otherwise bother the individual for months and years to come. Thyroid treatment through medication is also very simple and can be done on a regular basis to ensure that the individual leads a normal and healthy life. Regular health checkups are therefore essential and recommended for all people.