THYROID - is a butterfly shaped organ and is composed of two lobes, one on the right and the left as the wings.
- It weights 2-3 grams and 25 grams in adults and is increased in pregnancy.
How important is thyroid?
The thyroid plays an important role in all this our activity. It has something of a managerial position. Without the thyroid bossing everybody around, lots of work around wouldn't get done - or at least wouldn't be up to quality standard.
The thyroid main job is to produce two very special hormone. They both have deliciously unpronounceable names, but luckily, they also have abbreviation. The first is triiodothyronine and the second one is thyroxine (or tetraiodothyronine). but to their friends, they're known respectively as T3 and T4.
Did you know that according to a study by the Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism in 2012, one in 11 Flipino adults has goiter, and around one in 12 Flipino adults suffers from some form of thyroid disorders?
Millions of Filipinos are affected by problems with their thyroid, yet awareness of this disease is very low. The symptoms of thyroid disorders are often mistaken for other disease, or worse, are ignored by patients with the disease.
To raise awareness of thyroid disorder, Merck Inc. held a bloggers event at the Holiday Inn Makati.
Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company with headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany. They are the leading science and technology company that works to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life - from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions.
Dr. Nemencio Nicodemus, Jr., who is the President of the Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, as well as Professor in the UP College of Medicine and the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, gave an informative talk on what the thyroid is, including the symptoms of thyroid disease.
Patients with hypothyroidism, or too little thyroid hormone, tend to have slower metabolism: they gain weight despite not eating lunch much, move and speak slowly, feel tired and have depressed thoughts, cannot tolerate cold, and have irregular menstrual periods. On the other hand, patients with hyperthyroidism, or too much thyroid hormone, will have hyperactive metabolism: they lose weight despite having a good appetite, have heart palpitation, irritable thoughts and insomia, have sweating and heat intolerance, and can have tremors in their hands.
More information can be found online in the website www.thyroid.ph This is an online information where people can learn more about thyroid disorder. The website also contains useful guides which can help people check themselves for symptoms of thyroid disorders such as goiter, hyperthyroidism, or hypothyroidism.
There are lot of people who might have thyroid disorder, but are not even aware until it's too late. It is important to have one's thyroid checked as early as possible. especially if there are family history of the disease, or during pregnancy. Prevention , proper information and early detection will always be better than cure.
20 Important Facts You Need to know about Thyroid
- The butterfly shaped thyroid gland is located in the neck. Hormones produces by the thyroid direct calorie consumption, oxygen usage, digestion, the brain and neuromuscular function.
- More than 27 million have some sort of thyroid disease. About 13 million have no idea they suffer from thyroid imbalance.
- Typically, women are prone to thyroid issues than men.
- Thyroid disease becomes more common as we age.
- The thyroid secretes three important hormones - thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), and calcitonin. T3 and T4 are the thyroid hormones responsible for our overall metabolism and affect almost every cell in our bodies. Calcitonin helps regulate calcium stores in the body and also directs our bone building process.
- Iodine is essential to form both T3 and T4.
- T4 is essentially the same structure as T3, only it has an extra iodine molecule, which makes it the inactive form.
- The conversion of T4 into T3 occurs mostly in our liver but also in cells of the heart, muscles, gut and nerves.
- T3 affects nutrients absorption from carbohydrates and fats, the rate of protein creation, rate of food digestion, muscles building, oxygen utilization in cells and energy production efficiency in the cells.
- Most thyroid hormone in the bloodstream is bound to protein carrier molecules. It is the unbound (or free thyroid hormone) that exerts its effects in our cells.
- Thyroid hormone production is controlled by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
- Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, stimulates the hypothalamus to release TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) and thereby influences T3 production. It is made from the amino acid tyrosine, so consuming good quality proteins is important to both thyroid and brain health.
- Stress is a major factor that adversely affects the thyroid.
- Hypothyroidism is an underproduction of thyroid hormone, The most common form is an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Symptoms include fatigue, sensitivity to cold, excess weight gain, poor circulation, dry skin, loss of hair, depression and poor digestion.
- The overproduction of thyroid hormone is called hyperthyroidism. It causes increase in metabolic rate, sensitivity to heat, restlessness and anxiety, goiters, and weight loss.
- Iodide can be replace by fluoride ad chloride which may result in the inability to produce T4.
- In hypothyroidism, HCI (hydrochloric acid) production is reduced resulting in malabsorption of nutrients, undigested proteins, and digestive complaints.
- Many thyroid abnormalities are seen during times of fluctuating reproductive hormones such as pregnancy and perimenopause.
- Many blood tests for thyroid only test TSH. However, a more comprehensive panel will shed more light into one's thyroid function by testing free T4, free T3, reverse T3 (rT3), TSH, and TPO (thyroid peroxidase antibody).
- Important nutrients for the thyroid are iodine, tyrosine, B vitamins, vitamin A, selenium, zinc, and the essential fatty acids to name few.