Treating Thyroid Disorders: Creating A Healthy Balance | Villa Medica
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Treating Thyroid Disorders: Creating A Healthy Balance

The Epidemic of Thyroid Disorders

Amongst all the myriad chronic conditions on a rise in the world today, thyroid disorders are definitely amongst the top few. It is fast becoming a common condition in the present global population today. An astounding 200 million people are affected [1] and have their quality of life impaired with thyroid disorders, while over 50% remain undiagnosed.

Villa Medica - Thyroid Disorder Stats

Villa Medica – Thyroid Disorder Stats: Women are 10 to 15 times more likely to have a thyroid problem

Thyroid disorders occur when the dysfunction of the thyroid gland inflicts all kinds of havoc on the body over a period of time. Body fails to function properly when the gland is hyperactive and generates excessive hormones (hyperthyroidism) or generates too few hormones (hypothyroidism). Lack of these hormones makes the body sluggish and slow the body’s processes while an excess of these hormones make the person hyper active sending the body into an overdrive. A staggering 80% of those with thyroid disorders suffers from hypothyroidism, making it the most common of all the thyroid disorders.

How Can Hypothyroidism Be Treated ?

For serious hypothyroidism caused by tissue destruction, external supplement of thyroid hormones are necessary. When the condition is caused by lack of iodine in the diet, dietary changes and iodine supplementation will be a part of the treatment. The disorders are mainly treated with medical drugs and surgery. Hypothyroidism is also treated with hormone supplements to rectify the hormone imbalance. However, it is difficult to find the right dose, and treatment may result in hormone poisoning.

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Thyroid Gland – The Hormone Factory Of The Body?

The thyroid gland although small in size, is yet so vital for our health. It is a small butterfly shaped gland situated under the pituitary gland in the mid-section of the lower neck region. The thyroid gland is also known as the hormone factory of the body as it produces a number of essential hormones that extend to tissues, cells and organs throughout the body.

Thyroid Gland: The Hormone Factory Of The Body - The Thyroid makes hormones that travel through your bloodstream and regulate how your body breaks down food and uses it for energy.

Thyroid Gland: The Hormone Factory Of The Body – The Thyroid makes hormones that travel through your bloodstream and regulate how your body breaks down food and uses it for energy.

Among various other functions, these hormones accelerate or more precisely regulate metabolism and control energy levels. A part of metabolism is the process of breaking down energy, and using the energy to produce molecules that all the processes and activities in the body uses as fuel. Another part is the production of molecules that serve as the body’s building blocks.

What Is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones to stimulate the metabolism or the body is not able to utilise the hormones. The lack of thyroid hormones slow down the metabolism and thus all the activities in the body, giving a combination of many symptoms related to reduced efficacy of bodily processes. Energy containing nutrient will also be stored as fat, since they are not broken down.

Common Hypothyroidism Symptoms

The most common early symptoms are: mental and physical fatigue, weakness, weight gain or over-weight, and depression. If left untreated, hypothyroidism can cause elevated cholesterol levels, an increase in blood pressure, cardiovascular complications, decreased fertility, and depression.

Surgery, medications, iodine deficiency, dysfunction of the pituitary gland, and thyroid gland inflammation are some of the causes of hypothyroidism. The other causes of hypothyroidism could be due to chronic fatigue and weakness, weight gain or difficulty in losing weight, dry and rough skin, and abnormal menstrual cycles.

Hypothyroidism Diagnosis

Hypothyroidism is diagnosed by a blood test. The TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone from the pituitary gland) level and T4 levels in the blood are tested. The T4 level is the main thyroid hormone. By comparing the TSH and T4 levels with the symptoms, the physician can identify whether the person is suffering from hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. The proper diagnosis of thyroid disorders is essential and key to determine and providing the best treatment option for the disorder.

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References:

[1] Life Works Wellness Center
[2] Thyroid Foundation of Canada

 

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