The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland called that is located in the middle of your lower neck is responsible for your growth and metabolism. This is accomplished by secretion of thyroxin hormone. Both men and women get affected by malfunctioning of thyroid gland but women are five to eight times more likely to have thyroid dysfunction than men. It is seen that women often overlook symptoms of thyroid. Common symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, fuzzy thinking, low blood pressure, fluid retention, depression, body pain, slow reflexes, and much more. The functions of the thyroid gland have much to do with a woman’s reproductive system.
What symptoms women encounter depends on the amount of secretion of thyroxin hormone. On basis of the amount of hormone secreted, the thyroid problem is classified as Hyperthyroidism (excessive secretion) or Hypothyroidism (low secretion) and therefore the symptoms seen are different to both the diseases.
Hypothyroidism vs. Hyperthyroidism: The Symptoms
Women’s reproductive health is more affected by the thyroid malfunctioning. Effects of this imbalance in hormone levels may have the following effects on a woman’s reproductive health:
- Thyroid disorders can cause early or late onset of puberty & menstruation and cause irregular heavy or absent periods.
- Thyroid disorder may prevent ovulation process.
- Severe hypothyroidism can actually cause milk production in the breast, while preventing ovulation.
- Thyroid disorders can harm the foetus and may lead to postpartum thyroiditis.
Causes of Thyroid
Hypothyroidism: There are the times when thyroid gets inactive and stops secreting the hormone. It can occur due to the failure of or due to thyroid gland not being stimulated properly.
Causes of ineffective thyroid functioning
Iodine is needed for the production of the thyroid hormone. When you do not take iodine in diet or take less quantity of it, then body does not produce enough hormones.
Hashimoto’s disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis or autoimmune thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the US. It is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the body’s own cells and organs and kills or damages the thyroid gland, thus preventing the secretion.
Pituitary gland abnormalities
If the pituitary gland is deficient then the thyroid gland may not produce the correct amount of thyroid hormone. When the women loses life threatening amount of blood after childbirth, it may damage pituitary gland leading to underproduction of the thyroid.
Congenital hypothyroidism occurs when babies are born with a thyroid glan that does not function properly. Congenital hypothyroidism can lead to physical and mental growth problems.
Do you wonder why don’t you get enough iodine in your diets?
Iodised salt was introduced in US in 1920s. The consumption of salt by Americans has drastically decreased by about half since the 1970s. There is less iodine in certain foods than before, especially cow’s milk and bread. Also, federal legislation in the 1980s decreased the amount of iodine in cattle feed, which could be one of the reasons why milk has less iodine.
hen thyroid gets overactive and secrets the hormone more than what is required, it is due to the following reason:-
Excessive iodine intake
Taking additional iodine in supplements can trigger thyroid gland to overproduce the hormone. A prominent and enlarged goitre is caused due to hyperthyroidism. Certain medications used in the treatment of heart problems also contain abundant iodine and hence causes iron induced hyperthyroidism. An example is Amiodarone, which is sometimes prescribed for patients with atrial fibrillation.
This form of hyperthyroidism occurs when one or more adenomas (it is a part of the gland) of your thyroid produce too much T-4.
Subacute thyroiditis is caused by inflammation in the thyroid gland. This may be due to the viral or bacterial infection. It causes thyroid hormone to leak out into the blood, raising their overall levels of hormone and leading to hyperthyroidism. Subacute thyroiditis causes pain in the thyroid gland. Other types of thyroiditis are painless and may sometimes occur after pregnancy.
Home remedies for Thyroid
The patients relying on herbal remedies continuously according to clinical researches have shown a fast recovery and low dependency on external supplements and stimulants. Therefore below mentioned remedies are worth trying:-
- Extra virgin Coconut oil: Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids that help improve thyroid functioning.
- Kelp: Kelp is seaweed that is rich in iodine and other minerals. It is helpful in treating the cases arisen due to iodine deficiency.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: It is believed that apple cider vinegar restores acid alkaline balance and facilitates weight loss. It improves the metabolism.
- Fish Oils: Fish oils, rich in omega 3 fatty acids, fight inflammation and increase immunity. It is considered good for increasing thyroid hormone uptake.
- Vitamin D: Thyroid problem is sometimes caused by autoimmune process also and Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with several autoimmune diseases, including thyroid disease. You can add salmon fish, mackerel and tuna fish to the food in order to derive Vitamin D from them or you can expose yourself to sunlight to generate vitamin D required for body.
- Siberian ginseng: Siberian ginseng is another very useful remedy for stimulating adrenal and thymus glands which support the functioning of the thyroid gland.
- Ginger: Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and is a good source of zinc, magnesium and potassium that help improve thyroid functioning.
- Evening primrose oil: Primrose oil, high in gamma linoleic acids, helps increase the levels of thyroid hormones. At the same time, it can relieve problems associated with hypothyroidism, such as hair loss and heavy menstrual flow.
- Intake the diet free from gluten:
Sometimes the protein from dairy product is responsible for inflammation of the thyroid and its malfunctioning. This situation can be overcome by consuming the gluten free food combined with a grain-free diet.
- Ingest the following herbs in other forms if your body is suffering from lack of thyroxin:
- Black walnuts that contain iodine to stimulate the thyroid function.
- Irish moss and kelp. These herbs boost the metabolism, improve blood flow and increase the productivity of the thyroid gland.
Thyroid is not caused by one single problem in one area, rather it is associated with so many other diseases and it is an onset of other diseases too. So, if you have any doubt, don’t carry away with it, just consult a doctor.
Also Read: How to Increase Your Metabolism?
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