I remember when Christian Singer Natalie Grant had called upon believers from around the world to pray for her before heading into thyroid surgery. Thank God her surgery was successful and during that process tumours were also removed to determine if they were cancerous and the results were a sure sign that God answers prayers. Did you know that 1 in eight women will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime, but do you actually know the signs to look out for?
Like most of you I had heard of the thyroid, but never quite understood exactly what it is. I never knew that such a small gland can have a huge impact on one’s health until a friend of mine like Natalie Grant had called on me for prayers as she was getting ready for her surgery; that was the first time that I really took a keen interest in learning more about this condition. Did you know that thyroid disease is common among American women? This article will prove very important to you or for your loved one because having an understanding of the thyroid can help you get a proper diagnosis if you begin having health concerns.
What exactly is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a small gland located below the Adam’s apple in your neck. The thyroid is responsible for producing, storing, and releasing two types of thyroid hormones: It releases hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which increase the amount of oxygen your body uses and stimulate your cells to produce new proteins. By controlling the release of these hormones, the thyroid determines the metabolic rate of most of your body’s organs. “In other words this means your heart, liver, kidneys, muscles, skin, reproductive organs, etc. all need thyroid hormones to be able to do the processes that maintain your life.”
The thyroid gland is regulated by thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which is made by the pituitary gland in the brain. Normally, when thyroid hormone levels in the body are high, they will “switch off” the production of TSH, which in turn stops the thyroid from making more T4 and T3.
What causes thyroid issues and are women more at risk?
Thyroid problems occur when the thyroid produces too many (hyperthyroidism) or too few (hypothyroidism) hormones. Thyroid problems are more common in women than men. Cancer may also develop in the thyroid gland. Whilst these problems can affect both men and women, females are six to eight times more likely to develop a thyroid condition.. The American Thyroid Association estimates that 12 percent of Americans will develop a thyroid issue during their lives, but 60 percent will not know that they have the condition.
Is there a cure for thyroid problems?
You will be glad to know that thyroid.org say all thyroid diseases can be treated, resulting in normal thyroid function. However, this frequently requires being on medication to maintain the normal thyroid state. For example, most patients with thyroid cancer can be cured through surgery and radioactive iodine treatments.
Goldfarb on the other hand states that people with thyroid conditions should rest assured in knowing that they will likely get relief. However, there is no way to permanently cure true thyroid conditions. “Since we do not understand the aetiology (that is, the underlying catalyst) behind the cause of many thyroid disorders, I would say that they are mostly ‘treated’ [rather than cured],”.
Here are some thyroid problem symptoms to lookout for?
- coarse and dry hair
- confusion or forgetfulness (often mistaken for dementia in seniors)
- dry, scaly skin
- fatigue or a feeling of sluggishness
- hair loss
- increased menstrual flow (women)
- intolerance to cold temperatures
- muscle cramps
- slower heart rate
- weight gain
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