More than 13 million Americans suffer from thyroid illness and in above 80% cases, the issue is an under-active thyroid gland called hypothyroidism. This condition is more common in the women and the rates increases with age, reaching twenty percent in women over 65 years of age. The concern for mental health is that the deficiency of thyroid can be linked with emotional and cognitive disturbances, and the thyroid hormones can be useful in the treatment of depression.
This is a condition in which the body gets deficient of sufficient thyroid hormone. Because the primary purpose of the thyroid hormone is to run the metabolism of the body, it is quite obvious that people with hypothyroidism will have symptoms linked with a slow metabolism. The estimates differ, but approximately about 10 million Americans have this common medical problem. Not only this, as many as 10% women have some degree of thyroid hormone deficiency. This condition is more common than you can believe and millions of people are presently hypothyroid and are unaware of it.
How thyroid helps in better metabolism
The very first thing which needs to be understood is that there’s this hormone which your doctor typically measures , called the thyroid stimulating hormone, or the TSH which comes from your brain and it goes to your thyroid glands and helps in the production of T4. T3 is what we call the inactive thyroid hormone. It travel through the blood stream and on reaching the peripheral tissues, it gets converted to T3 which is the active form of the thyroid hormone. T3 then gets inside your cells. DNA is the center of the cell in the nucleus. On the surface of the nucleus, we have little tiny key hole called nuclear receptor. In case of thyroid hormone, this nuclear receptor is where the thyroid hormone binds. The T3 gets bonded on the nuclear receptor and that as a result, helps in increasing the metabolism.
Ten signs of under-active thyroid:
- Gain in weight or the inability of losing weight
- Fatigue after sleeping for 8-10 hours a night or needing to take a daily nap.
- Mood issues like anxiety, depression or mood swings.
- Hormone balances like irregular periods, PMS, low sex drive and infertility.
- Joint pain, muscle pain, tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Cold feet and hands, feeling cold when other people are not, or having a body temperature constantly below 98.5.
- Cracking or dry skin, excessive hair loss and brittle nails.
- Mind issues like poor concentration, brain fog or poor memory.
- Swelling in neck, hoarse voice or snoring.
Forms of thyroid hormone
Thyroid hormone aids in converting the food into heat and energy, regulating the temperature of the body and impacting a lot of hormonal systems in the body. It exists in 2 main forms- thyroxine (T4) which is an inactive form which is produced by the thyroid gland and transformed into T3 in the other body areas, and T3 (triiodothyronine) which is the active form. The role of the thyroid hormone and the consideration of its effect on many systems of the body are emerging as an important component of the balanced hormone replacement for both men and women.
Hypothyroidism can be prevented in people by the addition of iodine to the commonly used foods. This public health measure has wiped out endemic childhood hypothyroidism in the countries where it was once very common. Along with promoting the consumption of the iodine-rich foods like fish and dairy, a lot of countries with moderate iodine deficiency have implemented universal salt iodization, i.e. USI. Breastfeeding and pregnant women need 66% more iodine as a daily requirement.