What is the Thyroid Gland?
- The thyroid gland is located in the lower portion of the neck right below Adam’s apple, wrapped around the trachea.
- It looks like a butterfly as two wings attached to one another by a middle portion named isthmus.
Functions of throid Gland:
- The thyroid gland is responsible for preparing and storing hormones.
- Their hormones regulate blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, cell function and regulate many bodily functions.
- Thyroid hormones help in the metabolism, growth, and development of the human body.
- The thyroid gland uses iodine, a mineral found in foods and mainly in iodized salt, to make hormones.
Types of Thyroid hormones:
The thyroid gland produces three kinds of hormones:
- Triiodothyronine, also known as T3
- Tetraiodothyronine also called thyroxine or T4
The two most important among thyroid hormones are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).
- Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which is produced by the pituitary gland, helps to stimulate hormone production.
- The thyroid gland manufactures the hormone calcitonin.
- It helps in calcium metabolism plus stimulating bone cells to add more calcium to bone.
- Thyroid hormones are also responsible for proper cell differentiation.
- Thyroid hormones regulate protein, fat, carbohydrate and vitamin metabolism providing nutrients to human cells.
Role in Metabolism:
- Thyroid hormones are responsible for regulating our body metabolism.
- BMR was the earliest important measure for the test to determine the functioning of the Thyroid.
- Patients with overactive thyroid gland have high BMR and those with underactive thyroid gland have lower BMR.
- The thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and its prohormone-Thyroxine (T4) are produced by the thyroid gland that is primarily responsible for regulating metabolism.
- The most important component for the production of T3 and T4 is Iodine.
- Deficiency of iodine leads to low production of T3 and T4.
- It causes enlargement in thyroid tissue and leads to a condition known as Goitre.
Normal TSH range
- 21‑54 years: 0.4‑4.2 mIU/L
- 55‑87 years: 0.5‑8.9 mIU/L
- During pregnancy
- First trimester: 0.3‑4.5 mIU/L
- Second trimester: 0.3‑4.6 mIU/L
- Third trimester: 0.8‑5.2 mIU/L
The two vital health conditions happen with thyroid are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism refers to a state where a thyroid gland is extremely overactive.
And individual’s BMR increases which cause an increase in caloric demands to maintain weight.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is generally low in Hyperthyroidism.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism:
- An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
- a swelling at the base of your neck
- Rapid heartbeat.
- Irregular heartbeat
- Weight loss.
- Increased appetite
- Changes in menstrual patterns
- Increased sensitivity to heat
- Changes in bowel patterns. Like: more frequent bowel movements
- Difficulty in sleeping.
Diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism is related to low TSH level.
- Thyroid hormones (T3, T4) will be increased.
- Hyperthyroidism can imitate other health problems, which can make it difficult for our doctor to find out.
- A reading which is below 0.4 mIU/L is considered low.
- Hyperthyroidism is generally diagnosed using
- Physical exam
- Blood tests
- Radioactive Iodine uptake test
- Thyroid Scan.
Lifestyle changes for the above condition:
- Dietary Changes:
Foods to Avoid:
- High Glycemic Carbs like refined grains, such as white flour, sugary sweets, juices, low-fiber cereals, rice, and instant potatoes have a high-glycaemic value should be limited.
- Goitrogenic foods like cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage, soy and millet, a gluten-free grain — contain goitrogens should be avoided or limited.
- Try to reduce eating of red, fried and processed meats and high-fat dairy products, which contain saturated fat.
- We must avoid alcohol and caffeinated products, such as soft drinks, coffee and tea should be avoided.
We can Include
- Fresh green juices from vegetables like kale, spinach, and spirulina also can be beneficial
- Try to aim for fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
- Anti-inflammatory herbs like basil, rosemary, and oregano can be anti-inflammatory and help in improvement of thyroid function.
- Ginger is an anti-inflammatory herb that can help boost immunity.
- Bone broth helps in detoxification and also in the healing of leaky gut issues that can make hyperthyroidism worse.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommended Few exercises for a hyperthyroid disease.
- Aerobic exercise, which we can start with five days per week for 30 minutes per day.
- For example, the best aerobic exercises engage the large muscles of your body, which could include dance class, biking or swimming etc.
- Resistance training at least two or three days a week, with at least 48 hours between sessions that focus on the same muscles.
- Resistance exercises can be performed using resistance bands, doing heavy gardening or doing body-weight exercises such as pushups and sit-ups.
- Also, we can do weight-bearing activities to prevent osteoporosis that includes walking and stair climbing.
Yoga for Hyperthyroidism
Including yoga in our daily routine can help you relax and deal better with hyperthyroidism.
- Cat Pose yogasanas helps improve blood circulation in the spine.
- Bridge Pose helps those suffering from hyperthyroidism helps decrease the severity of the symptoms of the condition.
- Thereby improving the brain function and relieving tiredness off legs.
- Fish Pose helps provide vital nutrients to the chest, head, neck and the thyroid gland
Hyperthyroidism may not be completely eversible in all cases, but we may manage it at home to a great extent.
Read the next article for knowing more about Hypothyroidism.