Often, I hear people talk of having a thyroid problem, whether it be overactive or underactive. But, just what does this mean and what can be done about it?
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone. This hormone is what regulates metabolism- how the body turns food into energy. This snowballs into each person’s heart rate, digestion, bone and muscle strength and cholesterol levels. But, when there is too much of this hormone, the body wants to kick into overdrive. Hyperthyroidism is associated with Grave’s disease, which causes the thyroid to speed up. Other causes can be abnormal growths on the thyroid and thyroiditis which occurs when the body makes antibodies to the thyroid hormones. Some symptoms include nervousness, moodiness, weakness, tremors, irregular heartbeat, irregular breathing even when resting, sweating, red-itchy skin, loose stool, warm-red skin, losing or thinning hair and weight loss. Also, some women experience irregular periods.
Sometimes, treatment for hyperthyroidism can lead to the opposite…hypothyroidism, which is where the body produces too little of the thyroid hormone. When this happens, all systems of the body are affected, not just the endocrine. The disease is caused by several other things as well. Teenagers with this disease will often look much younger than you’d think. This disease can also become serious if untreated in adulthood. Some symptoms include inability to tolerate the cold, thinning hair, brittle nails, dry skin, tiredness, memory loss, depression, slow speech and body movements and constipation. While this disease can be treated with thyroid medication, there is no cure. Water can come in very handy to treat the symptoms. Being hydrated can help in keeping moisture in the skin, regulating body temperature, eliminating fatigue, loosening stool and even helping the brain-memory function better. Drinking pure filtered water is also important, as fluoride and chlorine in water can block the iodine receptors in the thyroid. Weight gain is something that can also come along with hypothyroidism, and adding more water to your diet is something that can aid in weight loss.
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