The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck, just below the thyroid cartilage, its shape resembles a small butterfly. Family doctor Zane Zitmane explains that the main biological effects of thyroid hormones are regulation of thermogenesis, effect on carbohydrates and fat metabolism, growth and development. Its main function is to provide metabolism in the body. The thyroid gland regulates the body’s functions by evenly distributing hormones in the blood.
Thyroid problems may be indicated by an enlarged, asymmetrical thyroid gland, as well as pain or discomfort in the front of the neck, hoarseness, and difficulty swallowing. In the case of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism (or increased and insufficient thyroid function), all organ systems are affected, explains the family doctor.
Pie hyperthyroidism tachycardia, arrhythmias, high blood pressure, more frequent angina attacks, rapid and shallow breathing, dyspnea may occur. There may be more frequent bowel movements, diarrhea, increased appetite, thirst, a tendency to polyuria, degenerative liver damage in severe cases. Sweating is also intensified, the skin is warm, moist and is often accompanied by purulent infections of the skin.
Hair is brittle, their loss is intensified, nails are brittle and brittle. It may be itching, hives, vitiligo. Antibiotic myxedema (skin changes) often develop. Muscle mass decreases, contraction, hand tremors are observed. As osteoporosis develops, the risk of osteoporotic fractures increases. Orbitopathy can also be seen in 25-50% of cases. Blood count includes anemia, mild neutropenia, lymphocytosis. You can lose weight.
In order hypothyroidism In this case, the skin may be dry, yellowish and scaly. A decrease in sweating and coldness is also observed. Hair is dry and thin. Fatigue, weakness, lethargy, memory problems, depression, and decreased ability to concentrate are also common. Speech may be slow, voice may be hoarse. Weight gain against the background of increased edema. The function of the intestinal tract is impaired, which leads to the development of constipation. Bradycardia and increased peripheral vascular resistance are observed from the cardiovascular system.
More often, thyroid diseases are not congenital, but acquired or autoimmune.
However, even when it comes to autoimmune diseases, the influence of the external environment such as iodine deficiency, infection, pregnancy, as well as genetic predisposition is very important.
Congenital hypothyroidism occurs in approximately 1:4000 newborns. Hyperthyroidism is also a relatively rare pathology in children and is mainly associated with autoimmune etiology in children and adolescents. However, the incidence of hypothyroidism increases after the age of 60.
Prevention of thyroid health
The family doctor says it is necessary to get enough iodine daily to reduce the risk of thyroid disease. Iodine, which is necessary for hormone synthesis in the form of iodide, is absorbed by humans. Adults are recommended to take 150-200 micrograms of iodine per day, but the recommended amount of iodine increases to 250 micrograms per day during pregnancy and lactation. From the age of 5, the required amount of iodine is 90 micrograms per day, from the age of 6 to 11 – 120 micrograms, from the age of 12 – 150 micrograms.
Important risk factors include smoking, alcohol abuse, exposure to chemicals and UV rays.
Should preventive inspections be carried out?
Zitmane explains that prophylactic testing will not be necessary, except in newborns who are screened for congenital hypothyroidism within the first 48-72 hours.
If you have any complaints about your health, you should contact your GP, who will evaluate whether further testing is required. If thyroid disease is suspected, blood tests detect TSH (thyrotropic hormone) and a thyroid ultrasound (USG) may be required depending on the situation. If TSH is changed, additional tests by an endocrinologist will be required. Other tactics and treatment depend on the results of blood tests and USG. Treatment of thyroid diseases should be entrusted to an endocrinologist.
Zanda Ozoliņa, pharmacist at BENU Aptiekas, says iodine is necessary in the process of thyroid hormone formation, B vitamins ensure proper thyroid function, selenium ensures proper thyroid metabolism, and zinc participates in the processes of thyroid hormone synthesis.
Iodine can be taken with food – it is commonly used in seaweeds such as seaweed (laminaria), and iodized salt is also commonly used in everyday food.
By the way, B vitamins are most often found in cereals, rye bread. On the other hand, we get selenium mostly with meat or Brazilian cakes.
Zinc is found in oysters, beef and lamb, as well as nuts and seeds. In addition, supplements containing selenium can be used separately for thyroid health if necessary, but it is recommended to consult a specialist about supplements containing iodine. It is recommended to take it daily with food or iodized salt – emphasizes the pharmacist.
In addition to the use of probiotics, gluten-free foods are recommended daily for thyroid health. It is desirable to reduce stress and improve your sleep quality by adjusting your daily rhythm.
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