Herbs

Jun 29, 2007 at 12:26 o\clock

Thyroid Problems.

The thyroid gland is located on the front part of the neck below the thyroid cartilage (Adam's apple). The gland produces thyroid hormones, which regulate body metabolism. Thyroid hormones are important in regulating body energy, the body's use of other hormones and vitamins, and the growth and maturation of body tissues.

Diseases of the thyroid gland can result in either production of too much (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism) hormone. 

Production of thyroid hormones: The process of hormone synthesis begins in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus releases thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). The TRH travels through the bloodstream to the pituitary gland, also in the brain. In response, the pituitary gland then releases thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) into the blood. The TSH then stimulates the thyroid to produce the two main thyroid hormones, L-thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The thyroid gland also needs adequate amounts of dietary iodine to be able to produce T4 and T3.

Regulation of thyroid hormone production: To prevent the over- or underproduction of thyroid hormones, the pituitary gland can sense how much hormone is in the blood and adjust the production of hormones accordingly. For example, when there is too much thyroid hormone in the blood, the TRH does not work effectively to stimulate the pituitary gland. In addition, too much thyroid hormone will prevent the release of TSH from the pituitary gland. The sum effect of this is to decrease the amount of TSH released from the pituitary gland, resulting in less production of thyroid hormones in the thyroid gland. This then works to restore the amount of thyroid hormone in the blood to normal. Defects in these regulatory pathways may result in hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

 

Causes for Production of thyroid hormones: The process of hormone synthesis begins in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus releases thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). The TRH travels through the bloodstream to the pituitary gland, also in the brain. In response, the pituitary gland then releases thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) into the blood. The TSH then stimulates the thyroid to produce the two main thyroid hormones, L-thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The thyroid gland also needs adequate amounts of dietary iodine to be able to produce T4 and T3.

 

Regulation of thyroid hormone production: To prevent the over- or underproduction of thyroid hormones, the pituitary gland can sense how much hormone is in the blood and adjust the production of hormones accordingly. For example, when there is too much thyroid hormone in the blood, the TRH does not work effectively to stimulate the pituitary gland. In addition, too much thyroid hormone will prevent the release of TSH from the pituitary gland. The sum effect of this is to decrease the amount of TSH released from the pituitary gland, resulting in less production of thyroid hormones in the thyroid gland. This then works to restore the amount of thyroid hormone in the blood to normal. Defects in these regulatory pathways may result in hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

 

The causes for Hypothyroidism are:  1. Antithyroid antibodies: These may be present in people who have diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic hepatitis, or Sjögren syndrome. These antibodies may cause decreased production of thyroid hormones.  2. Loss of tissue: Treatment of hyperthyroidism by radioactive destruction of thyroid tissue or surgical removal of thyroid tissue can result in hypothyroidism. 3. Congenital: Hypothyroidism can be present from birth. 4. When there are defects resulting in an increased amount of TSH; the increased TSH results in a goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland itself that can be seen as an obvious swelling in the front of the neck).

 

 The causes for Hyperthyroidism are: 1. Graves disease: This thyroid condition results from abnormal stimulation of the thyroid gland by a material in the blood termed the long-acting thyroid stimulator. 2. Toxic multinodular goiter: This occurs when part of the thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones all by itself, without regard to TSH stimulation. It usually occurs in people with a long-standing goiter—usually in the elderly. 3. Thyroiditis: This is an inflammatory disorder of the thyroid gland. 4. Pituitary adenoma: This tumor of the pituitary gland causes independent TSH production leading to overstimulation of the thyroid gland. and 5. Drug-induced hyperthyroidism as in the case of heart medication called amiodarone. 

There is no known way to prevent hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. 

Untreated hypothyroidism may have severe effects on the brain as well as cause intestinal obstruction and inability of the heart to beat effectively. An infection, exposure to cold, trauma, and certain medications may often cause a worsening of hypothyroidism.  

Severe hyperthyroidism, called thyrotoxic crisis, may be life-threatening because of the effects it has on the heart and brain. It often occurs in people who are untreated or are receiving inadequate treatment for thyroid problems. A severe infection can also cause a thyrotoxic crisis. 

Seek immediate attention at a hospital's Emergency Department if you have the signs and symptoms associated with thyroid problems.  

 

 

 

Please visit:  http://www.herbsandcures.com


Comment this entry

Attention: guestbook entries on this weblog have to be approved by the weblog\s owner.