Thyroid Hormones And Diseases - Their Effects On You
For those who have been suffering from strange symptoms that don't seem to have an easy explanation, you may have an imbalance in the levels of your thyroid hormones. This article takes a brief look at thyroid hormones and two of the more diseases that may be the cause of your strange symptoms.
There are two main thyroid hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine (try say that three times fast). These two thyroid hormones are responsible primarily for regulating the body's metabolic rate. Thyroid hormones also partially regulate body temperature.
A Grave Condition
Generally speaking, the any imbalances in thyroid hormone levels can be classified as either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism means you have an underactive thyroid gland that does not produce sufficient levels of thyroid hormones, while hyperthyroidism involves having an overactive gland that produces too high a level of hormones in the body.
One of the symptoms of hypothyroidism is low body temperature or a feeling a being constantly cold. Some of the more common diseases include Hashimoto's Syndrome (it's referred to with various terms, including Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism and so forth) and Grave's Disease (Grave's Disease is basically hyperthyroidism). Interestingly, the two thyroid-related diseases share many of the same symptoms.
For example, having dry, brittle hair can be caused by both diseases, as are dry eyes and blurred vision. Difficulty swallowing and even muscle weakness are also shared symptoms, although one difference between the two is that Hashimoto's can cause acne. The one thing that really does set them apart is the issue of body temperature. Someone with Grave's Disease will likely feel hotter than other people, while a Hashimoto sufferer will generally feel colder than others.
In the case of Hashimoto's Syndrome, the treatment consists of hormone replacement with a synthetic hormone called levothyroxine, which comes in various trademarked brands. One danger is that in the wrong doses it can promote osteoporosis. Such medication is available by prescription only, although glandular concentrates may be available for purchase at a natural foods store.
However, glandular concentrates are not regulated, nor are they FDA approved. For a sufferer with Grave's Disease, treatment is basically the same but involves the destruction of the thyroid gland itself before treatment with synthetic thyroid hormones. If you're feeling lethargic, notice changes in your body temperature, changes in your hair growth, and so forth, you should consult your physician about possible thyroid problems.