The thyroid, located in the front of the neck, is a gland that makes hormones rich in iodine.
The 2 main hormones secreted by the thyroid are :
- T3 (triiodothyronine)
- T4 (tetraiodothyronine or thyroxine).
Both include the term "iodo" because iodine is one of their component, indispensable for their production. The amount of hormones produced is under the control of other glands, located in the brain: the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland.
The hypothalamus directs the pituitary gland to produce the hormone TSH (for thyroid stimulating hormone). In turn, the hormone TSH stimulates the thyroid to produce thyroid hormones, including T3 and T4.
It is not a coincidence of nature if the thyroid gland is located at the level of the neck since it ensures the balance between the top and the bottom of the body, between the head with our inner thoughts and the body with our external actions. It is the gland of our metabolism and it has the enormous power to make us work in over-revving or, on the contrary, in slow motion according to our emotions. In summary, the essence of biological decoding of thyroid disorders in one word: time.
People with thyroid conditions have a problem with time. If I feel that the weather is going too fast, that everything is going too fast, that I am suffocated by my life, I risk hyperthyroidism. On the contrary, if I feel that time is running out too slowly, if I have a tendency to resignation or a victim attitude to events, I risk hypothyroidism.
THE MAIN DISEASES OF THYROID
Hypothyroidism is the slowdown. Hypothyroidism is due to too little secretion of thyroid hormones in our body because of a malfunction of the thyroid gland.
The symptoms are:
- decreased heart rate,
- unexplained weight gain,
- high chills,
- lack of energy,
- general asthenia both physical and intellectual.
Hyperthyroidism is acceleration. Hyperthyroidism is due to too much secretion of thyroid hormones in our body. This excess of hormones leads to an acceleration of all metabolisms: everything works too much and too fast. The symptoms are mainly nervous (anxiety, agitation, irritability, trembling of hands) and heart (palpitations, tachycardia, extrasystoles). There is also unexplained weight loss, muscle fatigue, excessive sweating and frequent diarrhea.
Goiter can reveal hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Goiter is a thyroid volume that is higher than normal.
There are three kinds of goiter:
- Goiter secreting too much thyroid hormone.
- Goiter secreting too little thyroid hormone.
- Simple goitre secreting neither too much nor too little thyroid hormone.
A nodule is a kind of ball more or less voluminous attached to the thyroid gland, which is detected on palpation. In 90 to 95% of cases, it does not contain cancer cells. A cytopuncture makes it possible to determine the benign or malignant character.
HOW TO DETECT A THYROID PROBLEM
Hypoactivity or hyperactivity of the thyroid gland can be detected by taking blood to measure the level of TSH in the blood.
In case of hypothyroidism, the TSH level is high because the pituitary gland reacts to the lack of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) by secreting more TSH. In this way, the pituitary gland tries to stimulate the thyroid to produce more hormones.
In a situation of hyperthyroidism (when there are too many thyroid hormones), the opposite happens: the TSH level is low because the pituitary gland perceives the excess of thyroid hormones in the blood and stops stimulating the thyroid gland.
Even at the very beginning of a thyroid problem, the rate of TSH is often abnormal.