The thyroid gland, is an endocrine gland at the front of the neck, below Adam’s apple. It secretes thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which primarily influence protein synthesis and the metabolic rate.
Sometimes the thyroid can be affected by several diseases. Thyroid disorders can be very serious and can affect the normal life.
As we already mentioned, the thyroid gland produces hormones T3 and T4 which are secreted into the body in order to keep the muscles, heart, brain, and other organs working properly. Thyroid disorders may lead to serious health conditions from irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia to autoimmune diseases, infertility, and thyroid cancer.
According to the recent researches 1 in 8 women (aged to 65), experience some form of thyroid disease, and 2 in 8 women in peri-menopause are diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
Thyroid hormones are also very important for the growth and development of children. These hormones send signals for the production of all growth factors in your body, including a development of red blood cells (erythropoietin), skeletal tissue growth (somatomedins), nerve growth factor, and epidermal growth factor.
This gland produces three types of hormones:
- Diiodothyronine (T2)
- Triiodothyronine (T3)
- Thyroxin (T4)
There is a relation between these hormones and others, such as sex hormones, cortisol, and insulin, and such as progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.
The thyroid gland disorder is a complex problem with many variables and many possible basic causes, as the following:
- Endocrine-disrupting chemicals – Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are associated with early menopause and thyroid problems.
- Estrogen dominance – It can be related to some underlying estrogen dominance.
- Medications – Certain medicines can upset your thyroid functions. These medicines include steroids, beta-blockers, barbiturates, and cholesterol – lowering drugs.
- Bromine exposure – These contain brominated vegetable oils and flame retardants which can be found in beverages, bakery goods, plastics, pesticides.
- Chlorine, fluoride, and bromine can relocate iodine in your thyroid gland because they are all in the same family as iodine.
- Fluoride –In the 1970s, fluoride was used in Europe in order to reduce thyroid activity in hyperthyroid patients.
- Altered thyroid function is related with fluoride intakes as low as 0.05 to 0.1 mg fluoride/kg body weight per day (mg/kg/day) or 0,3 mg/kg/day with iodine deficiency.
Fluoride can lead to several damages of the thyroid function:
- Disrupt conversion from the inactive form of the thyroid hormone (T4) to the active form (T3).
- Mimic thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
These are the signs of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid):
- Decreased sweating
- Damage the cells of your thyroid gland
- Weight gain
- Muscle and/or joint pain
- Decreased appetite
- Coarse or dry skin and hair
- Hair loss
- Emotional instability
- Bradycardia (reduced heart rate)
- Mental impairment
- Forgetfulness, impaired memory and inability to concentrate
- Blurred vision
- Decreased hearing
- Sleep apnea
- Loss of energy, fatigue and general lethargy
Diagnosing thyroid dysfunction
Thyroid dysfunction can be diagnosed by measuring the amount of thyroid-stimulating hormone excreted by the pituitary gland. If the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough levels of thyroid hormone, the pituitary gland sends out a thyroid-stimulating hormone to encourage the thyroid to increase production.
Here are some of the laboratory tests that are recommended in case you need to examine your thyroid gland health:
1. Thyroid Antibody Testing – This test can determine if your body is attacking your thyroid or overreacting to its own tissues. Unfortunately, sometimes, conventional physicians avoid this test, but you can still do it if you think that it can give you the information you need.
2. Basal Body Temperature – The Broda Barnes System, which measures your body temperature at rest.
3. TSH Test – The ideal thyroid-stimulating hormone level is between 1 and 1.5 milli-international units per liter.
4. TRH Stimulation Test for more difficult cases – Thyroid-stimulating hormone can be measured using the thyroid-stimulating hormone stimulation test.
5. Reverse T3 – Elevated levels of T3 may indicate that heavy metal toxicity is affecting your thyroid gland function.
6. Free T4 and Free T3 – The normal level of free T3 is between 240 and 450 picograms per deciliter, but T4 normal level is between 0.9 and 1.8 Nanograms per deciliter.
Recommended medications for thyroid hormone replacement
Finding the ideal dose is a very difficult task. To be precise, it requires a typical fine-tuning over a period of time with regular blood testing. This can show how the current dose is affecting your thyroid gland hormone levels and keeping track of your symptoms.
However, the most common medicines used for thyroid gland hormone replacement are:
- Synthetic hormones, like Synthroid (Levothyroxine) which only contains T4.
- Bioidentical Thyroid hormones – These hormones and made from dehydrated pig thyroid glands and contain thyroid hormones: T4, T3, T2, and T1. Nature-Thyroid and Westhroid are most recommended.
If you are getting too much thyroid and you should immediately cut back on the dose. The key signals for this condition are excessive sweating and rapid heartbeat.
Recognizing and treating thyroid gland disorders is important for optimum health and preventing long-term health problems.