The thing about the thyroid is that it's one of the hidden soldiers in your body that regulates a lot of your vital functions without making a big deal of it. But, just like how humble this gland is while doing its work, it comes down quietly, producing some common symptoms that can be falsely linked to any other disease.
The thyroid gland is responsible for supplying all your body organs with energy. When it works properly, each organ, including the heart, lungs, and digestive system, receives a sufficient amount of energy, enough for it to perform its function.
Shape and Function
The thyroid is the largest endocrine gland in your body and is located at the base of your neck, just below your Adam’s apple. It takes the shape of a butterfly with a middle bridge surrounded by two lobes from each side, each the size of a walnut.
Thyroxine is the hormone in charge of making triiodothyronine, and both are responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism, the process by which your body transforms the food and nutrients you ingest into some form of energy that your cells use later to perform their functions.
More specifically, these areas might bleed easily, ooze, or be raised. That does not mean that every potential problem is an obviously-problematic area with odd discharge. Sometimes these areas can seem innocuous, making it even more important to keep a close eye on your skin and reach out to a professional if any changes occur.
Lower the risk
Anyone can get thyroid disorders, but the diseases are more prevalent among women and people with a family history of thyroid conditions.
According to the American Thyroid Association, women, especially those older than 50, are 5-8 times more likely to acquire hypothyroidism than men. That’s because thyroid disorders are frequently triggered by autoimmune diseases, which are more common in females. Another reason is the relationship between the fluctuating estrogen levels in women’s bodies during their menstrual cycle and the thyroid.
Research suggests that the reduced estrogen level during and after menopause affects thyroid function and leads to thyroid disorders. Other than that, common risk factors include some lifestyle habits and medical errors. For example, smoking can cause an increase in the thyroid hormones in the body, while injuries and surgical traumas around the gland can cause its malfunction.
Additionally, the intake of some medications containing lithium is associated with an increased risk of hypothyroidism. Also, Amiodarone, Interferon, and Iodine are among the drugs that have hyperthyroidism as a side effect.
If you experience any of the conditions mentioned above or fall in one of the categories at higher risk of acquiring a thyroid disorder, your doctor will recommend performing some blood tests to make sure of the diagnosis. To examine the thyroid functions, the most logical step would be to measure the amount of thyroid hormones in the blood.
This is done by taking a sample of the patient’s blood and performing the TSH test. To understand what this test entails, you should know that the thyroid gland is controlled by another master gland in the body called the pituitary gland. This gland produces the thyroid-stimulating hormone, which triggers the thyroid to release more of its hormones.
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