Thyroid gland is located on front part of our neck just below the thyroid cartilage. The two-inch, small thyroid gland has two lobes, one on each side of windpipe, connected by a tissue known as isthmus. It is a butterfly-shaped organ producing thyroid hormones which are essential in regulating our body energy, body’s use of other vitamins and hormones, body temperature and development and growth of body tissues.
The thyroid gland plays an important role in regulating our body’s calcium and metabolism balance. The thyroid tissue is made of two types of cells known as follicular cells and parafollicular cells. Follicular cells secrete iodine-consisting hormones known as thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) and parafollicular cells secrete hormone calcitonin. The T3 and T4 hormones produce proteins and also increase the amount of oxygen used by cells. Thyroid hormone imposes effect on all tissues of our body to regulate body’s metabolism.
However, thyroid gland is prone to many distinct problems resulting in many thyroid problems and are extremely common. A dramatic enlargement of thyroid gland results in goiter. Goiters are removed as they compress other important structures of neck such as the esophagus and the trachea making swallowing and breathing difficult. They are generally diagnosed by X-rays.
Another fairly common malignancy caused by thyroid gland is thyroid cancer. This cancer is extremely curable by using anti thyroid treatment like surgery, hormone treatments and radiation. The doctor would do a biopsy of thyroid gland to check for cancerous cells. The anti thyroid treatment for thyroid cancer depends on a person’s age, type of thyroid cancer and the stage of this disease.
It is often treated with radioactive iodine and surgery and this thyroid disease rarely needs chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Most people get cured after taking a dose of radioactive iodine. Radioactive iodine destroys some pat of thyroid gland without affecting other parts of the body.
A small abnormal lump or mass in thyroid gland causes thyroid nodules. Although, thyroid nodules are not found on their own, doctors would find it when you would undergo ultrasound or CT scan for different health reason. Possible tests include a blood test, thyroid scan, thyroid ultrasound and fine-needle aspiration.
Excessive thyroid hormone production causes hyperthyroidism.it is usually caused by overactive thyroid nodules and anti thyroid treatment’s used to treat hyperthyroidism includes radioactive iodine, surgery and anti thyroid drugs. Doctors prescribe any one or sometimes all of these anti thyroid treatments to treat this thyroid disorder. Low production of thyroid hormone causes hypothyroidism. Another common thyroid disease is thyroiditis caused due to inflammatory process enduring within thyroid gland.
Anti thyroid medications work quickly when compared with radioactive iodine therapy. Although, these medicines do not work right away, the symptoms get usually better and thyroid hormone levels become normal. Two anti thyroid medications widely available in U.S. include Methimazole and Propylthiouracil (PTU).It is important that these drugs are taken at proper time every day. You can buy them either in online pharmacy or ordinary drugstore.
Besides thyroid medications, one of the best ways to support thyroid gland is by eating thyroid health foods. Iodine rich foods are best ways to have healthy thyroid as it helps the thyroid gland to produce hormone known as thyroxin.
Good sources of iodine include fresh fish, sea vegetables like seaweed and kelp, cod, haddock, eggs, fish oils, pineapple, artichokes and iodized salt. Eating selenium rich foods like wheat germ, beef liver, shellfish, seafood, mushrooms, garlic, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts and sesame improves thyroid functions. Essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids aid in maintain metabolism.
The fat in Coconut butter or oil is converted into energy quickly and helps in regulating thyroid function. Other thyroid health foods rich in copper and iron play an important role in the functioning of thyroid.