What we Know About Thyroid Hormone

The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck, below the larynx, and is a butterfly-shaped gland. The thyroid gland is the largest endocrine gland in the human body. Its main function is to synthesize thyroid hormone and regulate the metabolism of the body.

Thyroid function is enhanced, weakened, and the synthesis and secretion of thyroid hormone is too much, too few, the main diseases include: hyperthyroidism (commonly known as hyperthyroidism), hypothyroidism (commonly known as hypothyroidism), thyroiditis, goiter, thyroid tumor, thyroid cancer .

The thyroid affects our entire body. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism, heartbeat, body temperature, mood and other important bodily functions, and can even affect almost all independent cells in the body.

Among them, hyperthyroidism, which is more common and harmful, is an autoimmune disease caused by immune dysfunction. The main pathological change is that the autoimmune globulin antibody stimulates the secretion of thyroid cells and produces excessive thyroid hormone.

The person who does not secrete enough thyroid hormones feels “raplapla”, as if his body was idling. Conversely, the one whose thyroid is too active lives in over-speed, her heart beats at a brisk pace, she loses weight. Fine regulation is required.

We all know someone around us who has had the thyroid gland removed. Consequence: they takes a small pill every day. It is a relief for people who have experienced serious dysfunction: some days, too many hormones and they are hyperactive; others, they are extinct, because in deficiency.

“It’s not all that rosy,” saydoctors, who decided to have the gland removed because of nodules that were thought to be potentially carcinogenic.The dosage should be reviewed regularly because the amount of hormones needed to our body varies during the year. ”

A crucial role throughout life
Produced by the thyroid gland located at the base of the neck against the larynx, triiodothyronine (indicated in the analyzes under the name of T3) and thyroxine (T4) play a crucial role even before birth, and throughout life. They contribute to the brain development of the fetus.

Later, during childhood, they promote the growth of cartilage conjugation (essential components of the skeleton, responsible for lengthening bones). In the adult, they help to regulate the global level of activity and energy expenditure of the body by stimulating the heart, the brain. In fact, few organs escape their control!

When the thyroid (or the pituitary gland, which controls it) does not work properly, the thyroid hormones are no longer produced in sufficient quantity, the patient is idling, gaining weight, becomes chilly, suffers from constipation, loses his hair, has dry and depressed skin. We talk about hypothyroidism.

“Very common, this disease gradually takes place over several years,” says Professor André Aurengo, a specialist in nuclear medicine and a member of the Academy of Medicine. A blood test of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), the hormone that drives thyroid activity, confirms the diagnosis.

In contrast, when the doctor receives a patient in his office who is thin, tired, intolerant to heat, irritable, sweating and palpitations, he has all the signs of hyperthyroidism, an excessive production of hormones. thyroid.

“If this person is a young woman, goiter (swelling of the neck) and exophthalmia (bulging eyes), we immediately think of Graves’ disease,” says Professor Aurengo. in hyperthyroidism because doctors have prescribed thyroid hormones to lose weight, diverting this treatment from its initial indication.There, they are dangerous for the heart and melt rather muscles than fat! ”

A follow-up for life
If the thyroid gland produces too much or not enough (or at all) hormones, treatment is needed to prevent complications. In case of hypothyroidism, it is essential and for life: every day, a thyroxine tablet. Once a year, a blood test is used to monitor the TSH level and adjust the dosage of the treatment. In some patients, these dosages must often be re-evaluated, probably because the drug is not absorbed properly by the intestine.

In people with hyperthyroidism based on Graves’ disease, synthetic antithyroid drugs are prescribed that decrease or block the production of hormones for one year. When this treatment is stopped, two-thirds of the patients are permanently cured. For the other third, the thyroid should be removed surgically or destroyed with radioactive iodine. Patients will naturally end up in hypothyroidism and take a thyroxine-based treatment for life.

Variations on the mood
If mood changes occur quickly in people with hypo- or hyperthyroidism, it does not turn anyone naturally sweet into a tyrant. The intensity of change varies greatly from one patient to another.

“In fact, it just aggravates existing trends,” said Professor Aurengo. Moreover, once a treatment restores a normal hormonal secretion, everything returns in general in the order. He admits however that this “right balance” is more difficult and especially longer to restore in hyperthyroids.

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