All you should know about the thyroid gland

For most people the function of the thyroid gland is a mystery. And all the unknown, as usual, is too complicated, so you absolutely do not want to understand it. But diseases of the thyroid gland are one of the most common ones. So maybe it's worth unveiling the mystery after all? Eventually, forewarned is forearmed.

The thyroid gland is a small organ of the endocrine system, located on the front surface of the neck, in the lower part of it, with two lobes connected by an isthmus. It weighs about 15-20 grams. The gland got its name because of its location in front of the thyroid cartilage of the throat.

What is the thyroid gland responsible for?

The thyroid gland stores iodine and produces thyroid hormones that regulate:

  • metabolism;
  • decay and assimilation of glucose;
  • decay of fats;
  • heartbeating processes;
  • appetite;
  • bloodstream;
  • absorption and assimilation of nutrients;
  • oxygen consumption by cells;
  • cholesterol levels;
  • calcium in the body.

Surprisingly, such a small organ with so many vital functions! It would simply be unfair not to pay proper attention.

By the way, about attention. Here are 10 suspicious signs of thyroid problems that shouldn't be ignored!

🔻 Lingering apathy and depression

If the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, then there is not enough serotonin.

🔻 Lingering lack of energy

Yes, this symptom is quite common, and it may indicate various malfunctions in the body. However, all these failures have something in common - an insufficient amount of thyroid hormones.

🔻 Loss of interest in sex

Low hormone levels = low libido.

🔻 Anxiety, problems with relaxing

If you are constantly on edge, worrying about everything and you absolutely cannot relax, most likely, the thyroid gland produces too many hormones, and the body perceives this as "alertness" and “mobilization mode” turns on.

🔻 Dry itchy skin

The metabolism slows down, sweating is disturbed and the texture of the skin changes.

🔻 Halting period

Various oddities can occur here: periods become shorter or longer than usual, atypical abundance.

🔻 Intestinal obstruction

With a lack of hormones, digestion processes slow down. 

🔻 High blood pressure

Since the thyroid gland is involved in the processes of heart beating and bloodstream, malfunctions in its work will also affect the work of the heart.

🔻 Constant chills

Everything here works like with a car: if you don't start it, the stove won't turn on. And if there are not enough hormones, then the body won’t have enough energy to start the heating process.

🔻 High level of "bad" cholesterol

If the LDL level exceeds the norm and cannot be corrected by nutrition, sports, or medicine, then the thyroid gland simply cannot cope.

Of course, if you've diagnosed only one symptom, don't sound the alarm right away. However, if you have been observing a whole bunch of such symptoms for a long time, perhaps, it is the thyroid gland that sends a huge red flag. But in order to find out for sure and not to mix up with the usual autumn blues in a cold apartment, you still need to get tested for TSH (by the way, we talk about this and other mandatory tests that should be taken every year here).

Moreover, we strongly advise you not to neglect this analysis. Diseases of the thyroid gland are one of those serious problems that are almost asymptomatic, until it is too late. That is why they are so widespread. They simply are not diagnosed in time.

Preventive measures

We have already said that, unfortunately, no one is immune from any diseases, but, of course, there are a number of preventive measures.

The first important point is to get enough iodine. Seaweed, sea fish and other seafood, beef liver, milk, eggs and sorrel are rich in iodine. Also it is a good idea to replace regular salt with iodized one.

The second and no less important point: please do not self-medicate! If there are any malfunctions in the work of the body, go and consult with a doctor. The fact is that the thyroid gland is a very "fragile" organ, especially since there are hormones, and the situation can be greatly aggravated by improper treatment.

In conclusion, we would like to remind you that enough sleep, a balanced diet, regular physical activity and a generally healthy lifestyle (what actually refers to a healthy lifestyle, and what is not - we found out here) are the foundation of good health and correct and harmonious work of the body. And regular analyzes and examinations will allow you not to deviate from this path and correct it in time.