Have you heard about the thyroid gland? Do you realize how important this small gland is to the overall functioning of the human body? The thyroid is one of the most important glands when it comes to the way the body works, utilizes energy, and regulates certain functions such as respiration and circulation.
Thyroid conditions can be broken down into two main categories. There are conditions where the thyroid is overactive. This is known as hyperthyroidism. There are also conditions where the thyroid is under active and this is known as hypothyroidism. Although they can both have serious affects on the body, the symptoms of hyper and hypothyroidism are very different.
All of the body’s metabolic processes are controlled by a small gland located in the neck near the Adam’s Apple. The thyroid controls such basic functions as the burning of calories, respiration and heart rate and other very basic bodily functions. The two chemicals which are put out by the thyroid include thyroxin and triiodothyronin. They have an unbelievably huge effect on the body.
When the levels of hormone produced by the thyroid become upset or register outside the normal range, there can be serious and far reaching consequences. The extent of these consequences depends on the individual disorder and the extent to which the hormones are out of whack. The body needs very specific levels of thyroxin and triiodothyronin. One of the major causes for hypothyroidism is an iodine deficiency, although now that iodine is a part of table salt and is more common in our regular diet, a lack of iodine is a much less common cause of hypothyroidism. There is also hyperthyroidism where the body produces too much of the hormones that are put out by the thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland is controlled by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. These two regions of the brain control most of the different basic bodily processes and can affect the rate at which the body controls different processes. All of these different glands work together as part of the endocrine system to regulate the basic bodily systems and functions.
If your thyroid is acting over time and is out of control, , you may be suffering from hyperthyroidism. Do you have trouble concentrating and do you find that your brain is working overtime. It may depend on the particular disease you are dealing with. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism may involve rapid speech, heart beat and you may also suffer from diarrhea or other digestive upsets.
Hypothyroidism may mean that the body is slowed down and the different health issues relate to this. You may find that you gain weight, that you have dry skin and brittle nails, and that you also suffer from the urge to sleep for excessively long periods of time. There are other health conditions that can result from the thyroid being under active.
There are a large number of body systems which are affected by the thyroid system and keeping them in check when your thyroid is malfunctioning can be difficult. You may find that you need to supplement with synthetic hormones or you may need to have it removed in order to bring your hormone levels under control. By doing so, you can live the rest of your life comfortably and in a much healthier way.