The thyroid gland which is also known as the Adam’s apple is found in the neck and its main function is to produce hormones. Thyroid problems are quite common, and are usually easily cured. Most problems are mild, but it is important that your doctor examines you thoroughly to make sure that you are not suffering from any serious illness. Because the thyroid gland produces hormones it has an impact on all the metabolic processes within the body. The most common conditions are Hyperthyroidism, meaning hormone production levels are too high and Hypothyroidism occurs when hormones production is insufficient. Even though the symptoms can be uncomfortable as well as unpleasant, most thyroid problems are not serious if they are properly diagnosed and treated.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism include:
Weight loss despite increased appetite
Frequent bowel movements, occasionally with diarrhea
Increased hear rate, nervousness, higher blood pressure and excessive perspiration
Trembling hands and muscle weakness
Development of a goiter.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism include:
Reduced heart rate
Increased sensitivity to cold
Lethargy, slower mental processes
Numbness or tingling in the hands
Development of a goiter
Symptoms of Sub acute thyroiditis include:
Thyroid feels tender to the touch
Mild to severe pain in the thyroid gland
Pain when swallowing or turning your head
These symptoms will appear shortly after a viral infection
Hyperthyroidism occurs when there is an overproduction of thyroid hormones and this condition can be brought on by an auto-immune system, Grave’s disease or the development of toxic adenomas in the thyroid gland as they are all responsible in helping to produce too many or an imbalance of hormones. Hypothyroidism is a result of an underproduction of thyroid hormones and it can occur when the thyroid glands are surgically removed or destroyed by chemicals or if you are exposed to large amounts of iodide, it is extremely important the this condition is treated. Your doctor will be able to diagnose hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism by looking at the levels of certain hormones in your blood. One way in which you can determine if you are suffering from thyroid problems is to monitor your temperature. You have to follow certain guidelines to track your basal temperature accurately.
Shake the thermometer below 35°C at night, place it so that it is near to you and you do not have difficulty in reaching it in the morning.
Insert the thermometer under your armpit for 10 minutes and stay as still as possible.
Keep a record of your temperature for at least 7 days.
Women should only do this during the first 2 weeks of their menstrual cycle as their basal temperature will rise during the latter half
Normal basal temperature is between 37.4 ° C and 37.8° C, if you find that your basal temperature is always low you could be mildly hypothyroid. Cancer of the thyroid gland is quite rare but it is important that you go to your doctor for regular check ups.
An excellent way of maintaining good thyroid function to do aerobic exercises for at least 15-20 minutes a day. Yoga will help keep the thyroid in top condition.
If you are suffering from hypothyroidism avoid eating peaches, cabbage, spinach, radishes, soybeans and peanuts as these foods can interfere with the production of thyroid hormones. To help boost hormone production, take a supplement of Vitamin C, E, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, tyrosine and zinc. However if you suffer from hyperthyroidism eat the foods mentioned above to lower the production of the thyroid hormone.
When to seek further professional advice
As soon as you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above.
Treating hyper/hypo thyroidism is often very simple and lasting. If you are suffering from hyperthyroidism your doctor will try to suppress the production of the thyroid hormone. To treat hypothyroidism he will probably prescribe hormone replacement.
The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.