Overview Of The Thyroid Gland;
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits low on the front of the neck. Your thyroid lies below your Adam’s apple, along the front of the windpipe. The thyroid has two side lobes, connected by a bridge (isthmus) in the middle.
The thyroid gland is a vital hormone gland: It plays a major role in the metabolism, growth and development of the human body. It helps to regulate many body functions by constantly releasing a steady amount of thyroid hormones into the bloodstream. If the body needs more energy in certain situations – for instance, if it is growing or cold, or during pregnancy – the thyroid gland produces more hormones. The thyroid gland produces three hormones:
1. Triiodothyronine, also known as T3
2. Tetraiodothyronine, also called thyroxine or T4
Iodine is one of the main building blocks of both hormones. Our bodies can’t produce this trace element, so we need to get enough of it in our diet. Iodine is absorbed into our bloodstream from food in our bowel. It is then carried to the thyroid gland, where it is eventually used to make thyroid hormones. Sometimes our bodies need more thyroid hormones, and sometimes they need less. To make the exact right amount of hormones, the thyroid gland needs the help of another gland: the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland “tells” the thyroid gland whether to release more or less hormones into the bloodstream. Also, a certain amount of thyroid hormones are attached to transport proteins in the blood. If the body needs more hormones, T3 and T4 can be released from the proteins in the blood and do their job.
The third hormone produced by the thyroid gland is called calcitonin. Calcitonin is made by C-cells. It is involved in calcium and bone metabolism. An overactive thyroid (also known as hyperthyroidism) occurs if the thyroid gland makes too many hormones. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) is where the gland doesn’t make enough hormones. Both of these imbalances can lead to a great number of symptoms.
- Nervousness, tremor, agitation
- Poor concentration
- Reduced menstrual blood flow in women
- Racing heartbeat or palpitations
- Heat intolerance
- Changes in bowel habits, such as more frequent bowel movements
- Enlargement of the thyroid gland
- Skin thinning
- Brittle hair
- Increase in appetite, feeling hungry, sweating.
- Mental fogginess or sluggishness
- Depressed mood
- Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding
- Fluid retention, feeling bloated, puffiness in the face
- Joint aches and pains
- Weight gain/hard to loose weight
- High cholesterol levels
- Feeling cold, or increased sensitivity to cold temperatures
- Dry skin
- Memory problems
- Thinning hair or hair loss
- Slowed heart rate.
Herbs to treat an overactive thyroids include:
Buggleweed and sea moss;
Herbs to treat under-active thyroids include:
Sea moss, bladderwrack and kelp.
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