Thyroid problems affect both men and women. The thyroid gland is responsible for the production of hormones that regulate our metabolism and energy levels. These hormones also play a part in the body’s use of other hormones as well as other functions.
There is in fact more than one type of thyroid-related problem. The two most commonly known types are:
This condition refers to a condition when the body does not produce enough thyroid hormones to properly regulate metabolism. There are many causes of the condition, namely:
- Inflammation of the thyroid glands
- Surgical removal of the entire or parts of the thyroid glands.
- Iodine deficiency
- Postpartum thyroiditis
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
The many symptoms of this condition include:
- Brittle finger nails
- Thin, brittle hair
- Muscle cramps
- Poor muscle tone
- Joint pain
- Weight gain
- Inability to tolerate cold
- Dry, itchy skin
- Decreased production of sweat
- Slow speech
- Developing a hoarse voice
- Decreased libido in men
Treatment Options for Hypothyroidism
Controlling and treating hypothyroidism involves taking a tablet such as Levothyroxin containing thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone levels begin normalize within one month of taking the medication.
Some affected persons are given desiccated thyroid extract produced from the thyroid of an animal such as a pig.
This is the condition where there is an overabundance of thyroid hormones in the body. The chief causes of hyperthyroidism are:
- Graves Disease, which results when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. When this happens, the gland produces too much thyroid hormone to fight the attack.
- Thyroiditis, an inflammation of the thyroid.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
There are a multiple of symptoms resulting from the condition, hyperthyroidism. Some of the most common ones include:
- Weight loss
- Hair loss
- Excessive sweating
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Heart palpitations
- Menstrual problems
Treatment Options for Hyperthyroidism
This thyroid condition is generally treated by surgical removal (partial or full) of the thyroid gland. This is not a commonly used method these days. Surgery is normally used for persons who are allergic to iodine so that medication and radioactive iodine cannot be used.
Radioiodine is also commonly used to control hyperthyroidism. When radioactive iodine is introduced into the body, it kills or severely damages thyroid cells. The advantage is that since only these cells use iodine, no other cell will be affected. The medication also leaves the body within a few days. This treatment does not require hospitalization since the radioactive iodine can be taken orally. Generally only one dose is needed. Unfortunately, sometimes too much is given which kills too many thyroid cells resulting in an underactive thyroid.
Medication is also used to control the condition.
Natural Ways to Treat Thyroid Problems
Like all other health issues there are natural ways to help deal with thyroid problems. Some recommended ways to treat hypothyroidism naturally include:
Diet: This means eating foods that are high in iodine such as beetroot, radish, potatoes, bananas, nuts and seafood. Some foods increase thyroid hormone production and should be used in limited amounts, and eating them raw should be avoided. These types of foods include cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and lima beans. Apart from iodine, it is good to ensure adequate amount of zinc in the diet.
Herbs: Some herbs have been found to help control hypothyroidism. These include nettle which works well for both types of thyroid problems discussed in the article. Other useful herbs include kelp and bladderwrack.
Exercise: At least 30 minutes of exercise daily is recommended for hyperthyroidism.
Sun: Some amount of vitamin D from the sun is good as it aids in metabolism.
Hyperthyroidism and Natural Treatments
Like hypothyroidism, there are natural ways to help control the condition. The use of herbs such as evening oil of primrose, lemon balm and bugleweed can help to improve the levels of the thyroid hormones produced. Taking the amino acid, L-Carnitine helps by blocking excess thyroid hormones from getting into areas of the body that are affected by excess thyroid hormones.
A vitamin regimen is also recommended to help deal with hyperthyroidism. Supplements containing Vitamin C and B12 are especially recommended.
While thyroid problems can make life difficult for those affected as well as loved ones it can be treated. A combination of medicinal and alternative treatments options has made it easier for affected persons to deal with the conditions and their symptoms.
October 30th, 2009
Do you feel tired all the time for no apparent reason? Are you gaining or losing weight for no good reason? Has your voice changed? Your thyroid may not be functioning properly....
According to the experts your thyroid function could be the cause of your high cholesterol. They have reported that it is common that when the thyroid problems are managed that...
Goitre also spelled Goiter is a swelling of the thyroid gland that is located in the neck. This condition is more prominent in women than in men. There are two primary types...
It is common for someone to go see their physician with a complaint of fatigue, weight gain, and as a result depression. Any individual who presents with these symptoms will...
You had your baby, and he or she was a breach baby. Several months or even years later, you learn that you have thyroid disease. Both of these events could be due to the fact that...
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.