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- What is the thyroid gland? What are thyroid diseases?
- What are thyroid hormones? What do they do?
- How are thyroid problems diagnosed?
- What natural home remedies and supplements treat thyroid problems?
- What is the treatment for thyroid disorders?
- What is the prognosis for thyroid problems? Can they be cured?
What is the thyroid gland? What are thyroid diseases?
The thyroid gland makes and stores hormones that help regulate the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and the rate at which food is converted into energy. Thyroid hormones are essential for the function of every cell in the body. They help regulate growth and the rate of chemical reactions (metabolism) in the body. Thyroid hormones also help children grow and develop.
Types of thyroid problems include;
hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) that can cause;
What are thyroid hormones? What do they do?
The thyroid uses iodine, a mineral found in some foods and in iodized salt, to make its hormones. The two most important thyroid hormones are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which is produced by the pituitary gland, acts to stimulate hormone production by the thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland also makes the hormone calcitonin, which is involved in calcium metabolism and stimulating bone cells to add calcium to bone.
The thyroid gland is controlled by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. Diseases and conditions effect thyroid function, which causes thyroid problems.
How are thyroid problems diagnosed?
A doctor or other healthcare professional will take your medical history and give you a physical exam. Specialized tests are used to diagnose thyroid disorders. Blood tests may be used help diagnose thyroid problems. Usually, imaging tests like ultrasound, radioactive thyroid scans, and fine needle aspiration and biopsy of the thyroid gland are techniques ordered to measure levels of thyroid hormones and TSH in the blood.
What natural home remedies and supplements treat thyroid problems?
Supplements that contain large amounts of iodine such as seaweed can make thyroid hormone levels go very high or very low if you have nodular goiter and a history of an autoimmune thyroid condition such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis or Graves' disease.
There is no scientific evidence that herbal supplements, yoga poses, natural thyroid treatments, or natural thyroid remedies improve thyroid health and function. Dietary supplements are not regulated by any agency and therefore there is no quality control of these supplements. It is not recommended that any supplement be taken for thyroid health.
Don't take supplements for your thyroid problem without consulting a doctor.
What is the treatment for thyroid disorders?
What is the prognosis for thyroid problems? Can they be cured?
Usually, most people with thyroid disorders can manage the type of disorders signs and symptoms. Untreated thyroid problems are not life threatening. Some problems may require surgery.
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Hashimoto's ThyroiditisHashimoto's thyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disorder causing inflammation of the thyroid gland. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is a type of hypothyroidism, and is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the US.
Symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis may include dry skin, fatigue, weight gain, feeling cold, excessive sleepiness, dry skin, dry coarse hair, difficulty swallowing, a lump in the front of the throat, muscle cramps, mood changes, vague aches and pains, problems concentrating, leg swelling, constipation, and depression.
There is no cure for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Diet changes, natural supplements, vitamins, or other natural products will not treat Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Treatment for the autoimmune disorder is with thyroid hormone replacement therapy, which will be necessary for the rest of the person’s life.
Hyperparathyroidism is a disorder of the parathyroid glands. There are two types of hyperparathyroidism, primary and secondary. When the parathyroid glands produce too much hormone, hyperparathyroidism is the resulting condition. Most cases of hyperparathyroidism have no evident cause. Signs and symptoms of hyperparathyroidism include
- loss of appetite,
- constipation, or
Increased calcium and phosphorous excretion may cause kidney stones. The main treatment of hyperparathyroidism is surgery (parathyroidectomy).
Hyperthyroidism is an excess of thyroid hormone due to an overactive thyroid gland. Symptoms can include increased heart rate, weight loss, heart palpitations, frequent bowel movements, depression, fatigue, fine or brittle hair, sleep problems, thinning skin, and irregular vaginal bleeding.
Graves' disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. Many other health problems or taking excess thyroid hormone medication can cause an overactive thyroid gland. Treatment for the condition is with medication, radioactive iodine, thyroid surgery (rarely), or reducing the dose of thyroid hormone. No diet has been shown to treat hyperthyroidism or its symptoms and signs.
HypoparathyroidismIn hypoparathyroidism, the parathyroid gland does not produce enough parathyroid hormone. Causes of hypoparathyroidism include injury to the parathyroid glands, autoimmune disorder association, or may be present ab birth. Symptoms of hypoparathyroidism include: tingling fingers, toes, and lips, brittle nails, dry, coarse skin, dry hair; memory loss, headaches, severe muscle cramps, cataracts, malformed teeth, and convulsions. Treatment of hypoparathyroidism is to restore the calcium and phosphorus to normal levels in the body.
Hypothyroidism is any state in which thyroid hormone production is below normal. Normally, the rate of thyroid hormone production is controlled by the brain by the pituitary gland. Hypothyroidism is a very common condition and the symptoms of hypothyroidism are often subtle, but may include, constipation, memory loss, hair loss, and depression. There are a variety of causes of hypothyroidism, and treatment depends on the cause.
Hypothyroidism During PregnancyHypothyroidism during pregnancy can be treated with synthetic thyroid hormones to maintain the proper thyroid hormone balance. Hypothyroidism symptoms and signs include fatigue, weight gain, lethargy, and constipation. Treatment of hypothyroidism in pregnant women is important because inadequate levels of thyroid hormones may affect the fetus and child during growth and development.
Thyroid CancerThere are four major types of thyroid cancer: papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid cancer. Tumors on the thyroid are referred to as thyroid nodules. Symptoms of thyroid cancer include swollen lymph nodes, pain in the throat, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, and a lump near the Adam's apple. Treatment usually involves chemotherapy, surgery, radioactive iodine, hormone treatment or external radiation and depends upon the type of thyroid cancer, the patient's age, the tumor size, and whether the cancer has metastasized.
Thyroid Disorders Symptoms and SignsThyroid diseases and disorders are caused because the body either makes too much or too little thyroid hormones, which are necessary for vital functions of the body.
Thyroid disease and disorder symptoms and signs depend on the type of the thyroid problem. Examples include heat or cold intolerance, sweating, weight loss or gain, palpitations, fatigue, dry skin, constipation, brittle hair, joint aches and pains, heart palpitations, edema, feeling bloated, puffiness in the face, reduced menstrual flow, changes in the frequency of bowel movements and habits, high cholesterol, hoarseness, brittle hair, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, a visible lump or swelling in the neck, tremors, memory problems, depression, nervousness, agitation, irritability, or poor concentration.
Thyroid problems are more common in women.
Thyroid DisordersThere are several types of thyroid disorders including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goiters, thyroid nodules, and thyroid cancer. Symptoms vary by condition. Diagnosis is made with blood tests, scans, ultrasound, or biopsy. Treatments depend on the disorder and can include medication or surgery.
What Diseases Does an Endocrinologist Treat?Hormones are secreted by the endocrine glands of the body. Different hormones have different actions. Each hormone acts on a specific body part. An endocrinologist is a specialist doctor who treats imbalances of hormones in the endocrine system.