The thyroid glands that are situated in the neck region are responsible for the production of the metabolism-controlling hormones. These hormones are also connected to the other types of hormones such as the sex hormones, neurotransmitters, insulin etc and influence their actions as well.
Importance Of Thyroid Glands
The thyroid glands take in iodine and use it to make the 3 thyroid hormones- Triiodothyronine or T3, Thyroxine or T4 and Diiodothyronine or T2. T4 is the active form of thyroid hormone. T3 and T4 control the metabolic processes of every cell inside the body. It urges the nucleus to trigger the metabolic process. Without these hormones, the metabolism would practically come to stand still.
This process is the same for all, man, woman or a child. Every single person on the planet earth requires these hormones. They should ensure that the thyroid health stays intact. The difference comes when there could be a reason or a chance that the thyroids can alter from its main course. The changes could result in a hyperthyroid activity or slow down it’s functioning. Either way, it has a huge impact on the daily life of the person.
The Common Thyroid Problems
There are 3 major problems with the thyroid glands- hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and the thyroid cancer. There also are the 2 other varieties that caused by autoimmune problems.
- Hyperthyroidism: It happens when the thyroid glands work overtime and produce more hormones than that are necessary. These excess hormones still go on to work and trigger the normal activities to work at an accelerated pace. Grave’s disease is the hereditary variety of hyperthyroidism. This is part of the immune disorder that results in the overproduction of thyroid hormones.
- Thyroid cancer is identified with a small lump in the throat area.
- Hypothyroidism is the underworking thyroid glands. It produces far less amount of the hormones than what is required. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the autoimmune version of this problem. In this case, the body immunity destroys the thyroid gland cells making it less active.
Thyroid Issues In Children
Thyroid issues are not as common among the children as it is with the adults. Still, there are many cases of thyroid problems in children. In children the same problem could occur for different reasons. There are 3 types of thyroid problems in children.
- Congenial hypothyroidism: This is a disorder that occurs by birth. IT happens when the child is born with defective or under-developed thyroid glands. In some rare cases, the thyroids might be absent. The routine blood tests of the newborns can bring this problem to the light.
- Hyperthyroidism in newborns is another of the rare case. It mostly happens when the mother is suffering from Grave’s disease, a case of hyperthyroidism related to family history. The antibodies that produced in excess by the mother’s body could be passing on to the child that triggers the stimulated functioning of its thyroids.
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism among the children or adolescents. This can occur at any time before the child attains maturity.
Thyroid Problems In Men
Since the thyroid problems are not related to gender, it can affect man or woman. In the case of men, the thyroid problems either happen at their childhood or in the adolescent stage, as in the case of the auto-immune diseases or probably after they are 40+. It could also be the case if they already have some kind of autoimmune diseases prevailing.
Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can affect men. Though in comparison with women, men have lesser chances of having these problems. When present, it can have the same damaging effects as women do.
Low or high testosterone could be the triggering factor for the thyroid problems in men. Having a male parent with thyroid issues, deficiency of selenium, iodine, stress, food sensitivity, toxins and chronic infections are the reasons for thyroid problems in men.
Thyroid Issues In Women
Statistics show that women are 8 times more likely to have thyroid issues than men. For some unknown reasons, it is women who are at the receiving end of this problem, more often than not. The main reason could be the natural hormonal changes in a woman’s body.
- Hormone imbalance: Woman’s body is susceptible to hormonal changes and imbalance. Over the period of time, these changes could take its toll on the body. It affects the hormone-producing or influencing thyroid glands as well.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy can make the thyroids work overtime to meet the requirement of 2 lives. This may not come down easily after the childbirth. This could lead to postpartum hyperthyroidism or lead to hypothyroidism because of the sudden change.
- Menopause: The hormonal change after the menopause is another reason for the sudden change in the hormone balance that could affect the thyroids. It is also to be noted that women after their menopausal stage are a more likely victim of these problems.
The major reason why thyroid health should matter especially for women is their chances for conception and pregnancy. Both these require a healthy thyroid to succeed.
Why Thyroid Health Matters For All?
People are used to having iodine salt in their diet that it is unlikely to have an iodine deficiency that could lead to thyroid problems. It is either the deficiency of other nutrients like selenium, zinc etc or the most likely and common reason- family history. The family history has more say in the thyroid health of the people in America than other reasons. This is where maintaining healthy thyroids and knowing promptly about the problems related is imperative. It should be tested and surface at the earliest. It can affect almost anyone.
Thyroid problems are not age-related. It may come up at any time in the life. Being woman or ageing would only increase their chances. If you have ever had someone with thyroid issues in the family, you need to be extra cautious and get the necessary tests done to ensure the thyroid health. One cannot ignore the family history when it comes to thyroid glands.