Do you see a lot of people with disorders of the thyroid? The number is rising every day. Thyroid disorders are very common in India– it’s estimated that one in twenty of us are affected by them.
The thyroid gland is one of the smallest organs in the body still its role is very pivotal. The gland regulates energy production and metabolic rate in your body. It affects your brain, heart, bowels, skin, and basal body temperature. Too much or too little of the hormones produced by the thyroid gland can have a huge effect on your health and well-being.
But many of us don’t understand our body signals that we’re suffering from thyroid disorders as the symptoms often resemble those associated with other conditions. Thyroid disorders can be particularly difficult to diagnose in older people, as many of the common symptoms are often mistaken for the “normal” signs associated with aging.
The two main causes of thyroid disorders are a nutrient deficiency and some sort of autoimmune disease.
Iodine is an important and crucial nutrient for the functioning of the thyroid. Thyroid hormones are rich in iodine, and deficiency of iodine can cause both hypothyroidism and goiter (a swelling of the thyroid gland). For the synthesis of thyroid hormone, zinc is required, and deficiency of zinc has been shown to result in hypothyroidism. Selenium, a cofactor for iodothyronine deiodinase, is required to convert T4 (the inactive form of thyroid hormone) into T3 (the active form of thyroid hormone). The deficiency of Selenium increases conditions caused by inadequate iodine intake.
Hashimoto’s disease is a common autoimmune cause of thyroid problems. In Hashimoto’s disease, the body attacks the thyroid gland, progressively destroying its capacity to produce thyroid hormone and resulting in hypothyroidism. Research shows that about 90 percent of people with hypothyroidism have Hashimoto’s disease. Graves’ disease is also an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland. It leads to enlarged and overactive thyroid that gives rise to hyperthyroid symptoms.
You can figure out if your thyroid issues are due to an autoimmune process by consulting with a doctor and testing for thyroid antibodies (thyroglobulin and thyroid peroxidase antibodies). Though not all people with Hashimoto’s have hypothyroid symptoms, thyroid antibodies are a marker for future thyroid disease. It is seen that 30 percent of patients with Hashimoto’s do not test positive for thyroglobulin or thyroid peroxidase antibodies in practice. So, your doctor can suggest a thyroid ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis.
Let’s look at dietary, lifestyle, and healthcare products like supplement strategies for solving nutrient deficiency and autoimmunity-the two main causes of thyroid disorders.
The chronic form of stress impairs thyroid function at many different levels.
80 percent of the immune system resides in the gut, and gut bacteria assist in converting T4 into T3.
Sun exposure produces Vitamin D has been shown to be protective against autoimmune disease
Most optimal to get from food, but in cases of significant deficiency, supplementation may be necessary
Healthcare products like supplementation with Vitamin D are required when sun exposure is not sufficient to achieve adequate levels.
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