Thyroid Disorders

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Thyroid Disorders

The thyroid gland, as it might be already known, influences functions within the whole body through the production of the thyroid hormones. Despite the body having different mechanisms to maintain correct hormone levels, there are still possibilities that different thyroid disorders can appear or develop.

Goiter
It is one of the diseases that can be seen visually as an enlarged thyroid gland. There is no specific disease that causes it, but it mainly occurs in cases of hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism or even normal thyroid function.

Graves
This is an autoimmune problem when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism). This “graves’ disease is often the underlying cause of hyperthyroidism.”[1]  The symptoms of it can be varied, thus it is hard to diagnose it. The most common symptoms are anxiety, bulging eyes, chest pain, difficulty sleeping, insomnia, elevated blood pressure, fatigue, hand tremors, increased sweating, irregular menstrual periods, irritability or nervousness, more frequent stools and/or diarrhea, muscle weakness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, restlessness, sensitivity to heat, shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing, unexplained weight loss (typically despite an increase in appetite), vision problems or other changes. If the disease is left untreated, it can lead to more severe symptoms such as eye problems (red eye, tearing, etc.) and others.

Hypothyroidism
This condition occurs when the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormones. This might occur due to problems within the thyroid gland, pituitary gland or hypothalamus. Common symptoms to look for are fatigue, poor concentration, mental fog, dry skin, constipation, feeling cold, fluid retention, muscle and joint pain, depression and others.

Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism occurs when thyroid hormone production is excessive. This increases the metabolism. Sometimes it can occur without apparent symptoms, but otherwise, it can be a tremor, nervousness, fast heart rate, fatigue, heat intolerance, increased bowel movements, increased sweating, concentration problems, sudden weight  loss and there could be some other weight problems present as well.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Another name for it is Hashimoto’s disease, which is an autoimmune disease. This disorder causes the immune system to turn against the body’s own tissues.[2] This means the immune system attacks the thyroid. As a result, this occurrence can lead to hypothyroidism which is when the thyroid does not make enough hormones for the body’s needs. The reasons Hashimoto’s thyroiditis occurs can be different – genes, hormones (for example, sex hormone level changes after giving birth), excessive iodine or even radiation exposure. The symptoms are rather diverse: weight gain, fatigue, paleness or puffiness of the face, joint and muscle pain, constipation, inability to get warm, problems getting pregnant, joint and muscle pain, hair loss or thinning, brittle hair, irregular or heavy menstrual periods, depression or a slowed heart rate.

Autoimmune disease
When this occurs, the immune system is attacking healthy body cells, thus it can affect various parts of the body. There is no clear cause for it, but genes are a possibility. Symptoms also vary, but one of the first is usually muscle aches and a low fever. More typical signs of autoimmune disease is inflammation, which can cause redness, heat, pain and swelling. [3]

Thyroid disorders are varied and their effect on each body might differ. There can be flare-ups or remissions when symptoms improve. In any case, a person should be careful with their eating habits and lifestyle; try to make it as active as possible. There are ways to do it even in the most hectic times and the rewards are invaluable to your thyroid health!

[1] Graves’ Disease Overview. Accessed from: http://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/graves-disease/graves-disease-overview

[2] Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Accessed from: http://www.webmd.com/women/hashimotos-thyroiditis-symptoms-causes-treatments

[3] Autoimmune Diseases. Accessed from: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/autoimmunediseases.html

#THYROID Disorders #Goiter #Graves #Hypothyroidism #Hyperthyroidism #Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis #Autoimmune disease #Nutrition #Nutritionist #Cupertino, CA #Chen Ben Asher #Mor's Nutrition

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