Hypothyroidism Problems may be Easily Solvable

There are approximately twenty seven million people in the US who suffer from thyroid disease, many of which have gone undiagnosed. The disease often goes misdiagnosed and overlooked in favor of more popular maladies. Yet thyroid disease has an effect on nearly every aspect of a person’s health. Far more women than men are diagnosed with thyroid problems each year and the risk of developing problems with this small hormone producing gland increase with age. Hyperthyroidism refers to an over productive thyroid which produces over activity and weight loss. Hypothyroidism problems occur when the thyroid gland operates to sluggishly and causes weight gain, depression, and lack of energy and libido among other symptoms.

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What does the thyroid do?

A small gland, the thyroid is shaped like a butterfly and wraps around the windpipe in the area of the Adam’s Apple in your neck. This small gland produces various hormones necessary for bodily functions. The two most important hormones produced are triiodothyronine (T3) along with thyroxine (T4) which serve to help oxygen get in to cells. T3 and T4 refer to a number of molecules of iodine present in each hormone molecule. This tiny gland is the master gland of your metabolism and so very vital to your very existence.

Here we find the body’s only cells that are capable of absorption of iodine. The iodine, which comes from foods, supplements, and iodized salt is converted into those hormones mentioned (T3 and T4), with eighty percent derived from the T4 hormone and the other twenty percent coming from T3.

These hormones, once they’ve been released by the thyroid gland, help cells convert calories and oxygen into energy.

What causes thyroid disease and hypothyroidism problems?

Among the many things that can go wrong with the thyroid gland are:

  • Radiation exposure
  • Intake of too much soy protein in the form of capsules and powders. This is a isoflavone rich product derived from soy.
  • Certain drugs such as cordarone (heart medication) and lithium
  • Too much or too little iodine
  • Radiation treatments in the area of throat, neck, or chest.
  • Eating too much of the foods considered “goitrongenic” such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, and rutabaga among others.
  • Being surgically treated for cancer or goiter resulting in removal of the thyroid gland. This leaves you hypothyroid.
  • Radioactive treatments involving iodine to treat Graves’ disease and hypothyroidism, also leaving the patient hypothyroid.

Those who will most likely have a higher risk of development of diseases of the thyroid include:

  • Family members with problems relating to the thyroid
  • Having another endocrine related disease
  • Some other form of autoimmune disease in your family
  • A diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • A diagnosis of Fibromyalgia
  • Being female
  • Having recently given birth
  • Nearing menopause
  • Being a smoker
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Exposure to lithium
  • Exposure to chemicals such as fluoride or perchlorate (salts)

Hypothyroidism problems have many causes and most are controllable by use of drug therapy, the drug of choice being Levothyroxine. In some cases, surgery may be the treatment of choice but not commonly.