Small organ, great effect: the thyroid gland
January 19, 2018
Although the thyroid gland is known to almost everyone, few people really know about it. Where exactly in our body is she? What tasks does she have and what happens in hypothyroidism? In this article you will find answers to the most important questions about the thyroid gland and why it plays such an elementary role in our hormone balance.
A gland with many tasks
Your thyroid is an important, precious organ, after all, you have only one. It is fragile, shaped like a butterfly, it encloses the trachea deep down at the neck. It reacts massively to chemicals, whether they are in the swimming pool, toothpaste, drinking water or in your new car. Many of these substances disrupt your thyroid gland in its function of producing thyroid hormones. The thyroid hormones affect every single body cell, and we have billions of them. They regulate all your activities around the clock. One of their main responsibilities is to turn food components into energy. The thyroid gland turns food into fuel. And if she does not work properly? Then you are naturally tired. Therefore, fatigue, especially in the morning, is one of the leading symptoms of hypothyroidism. If the fatigue persists throughout the day, it is more indicative of adrenal function that may be associated with hypothyroidism. If the thyroid hormones are absent, the adrenal glands pump more hormones into the body for a while. If your adrenal glands constantly emit too much cortisol because you are under heavy stress, your body will develop inflammation and pain.
Symptoms of thyroid dysfunction
If your thyroid function is disturbed, you either have too little thyroid hormone (hypofunction or hypothyroidism) or too much (overactive or hyperthyroidism). In America, about 20 million people suffer from thyroid problems, but only about 60 percent know this too. Especially women are prone to thyroid disease. Compared to men, they develop five to eight times more frequent thyroid dysfunction. In the course of a thyroid disorder, it inevitably leads to fatigue of the adrenal glands, which leads to further hormonal disorders. In the appearance of a woman, such hormonal disorders can be read immediately:
- Thin, dry hairThe eyebrows sink at the outer ends in a straight line
- The outer edge of the brows is only thinly hairy
- The lower lash line is thin or completely missing
- Around the mouth and chin it comes because of the hormonal disturbance to the training of acne
- The fatigue of the adrenals shows up in a dark shadow on the inner corner of the eye
- Dry skin
- Slight swelling around the Adam’s apple
The production of thyroid hormones
The process of producing thyroid hormones only takes a few seconds. He ensures that you are in great shape with your 1.50 to 2 meters! The hypothalamus (in your brain) sends a substance called thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH), also known as protirelin, to the pituitary at the brain base to release another hormone called TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), whose job it is to stimulate the thyroid gland. TRH thus causes a release of TSH. The TSH in turn stimulates the thyroid gland to form thyroxin (T4). T4 does not yet have the right “hello awake” effect on our body systems. It “activates” in the sense that it helps the body make riboflavin FAD, which is called flavin adenine dinucleotide. This coenzyme plays an important role in the methylation, the transfer of methyl groups. FAD reduces blood pressure more effectively than any medication. At least, this is the result of a scientific investigation. You need enough thyroxine to make FAD and use it for methylation. The methylation ensures that in your body, so to speak, “the garbage out” is. So we can not use the T4 as a kick for our bodies, but it helps us with the methylation, which leads pollutants out of the body. In hypothyroidism, we automatically have low levels of thyroxine, so less detoxification.
Happy thanks to the thyroid gland
However, if we want to feel really good, we will have to wait anyway until the body of T4 has formed another hormone called T3. It is actually this hormone that makes us active. But that brings with it, as far as the health is concerned, a problem. It is hoped that T4 will be converted into triiodothyronine or T3 (also fT3 or free triiodothyronine). But if that does not work and it becomes rT3 (reversed triiodothyronine) then you have a problem! Because rT3 hinders the function of fT3 and thus causes the symptoms of hypofunction. The standard laboratory values look completely normal, because the thyroid gland also works normally. But you still hang around on the sofa without any drive and watch it. They wash their hair and find whole tufts in the sink. They are constantly caught cold. Her cells are starving for thyronine. They are thyroid sick!
The function of thyroid hormones
When it comes to the production and processing of thyroid hormones, many factors are involved. The pituitary and the thyroid work together, but the thyroid is the one that ultimately produces and releases the hormones. When everything works well, the thyroid hormones are transported into the cell and converted by thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3), which gives us well-being. But what exactly is thyroid hormone doing?
- Regulation of the heartbeat
- It makes us warm
- It stimulates the Sotffwechsel
- Increase muscle strength
- Replacement of dying cells by healthy ones
- Growth of hair and nails
- Regulation of bowel function
- Improvement of fertility
- Relief of pain perception
- It makes us feel happy and satisfied
As you can see, the thyroid hormones throw the whole store! So, if there’s any difficulty in producing, transporting, or activating the hormone, it says, “Houston, we have a problem!” To make hormones, your thyroid needs tyrosine. This is an amino acid that needs iodine to be converted to thyroid hormone. Iodine and tyrosine combine to form T3. Therefore, the T: tyrosine comes in each case. The numbers behind indicate the number of iodine atoms. T4 ultimately means: a tyrosine molecule carrying four iodine atoms. T3 is a tyrosine molecule with three iodine atoms.
A short overview of thyroid hormones
TSH: A hormone of the pituitary gland; it stimulates the production of thyroid hormones.
T1: a hormone advance or withdrawal stage; their biochemical function is not yet known.
T2: A hormone pre-maturation or decline with a weak effect
T3: triiodothyronine; we need this active thyroid hormone.
T4: thyroxine; it is formed by the thyroid gland and stored in this inactive form too.
rT3: reversed triiodothyronine; it is the non-functional twin of T3.
TPO: An enzyme that is often elevated in autoimmune thyroid disease.
Tg: thyroglobulin; an antibody that attacks your thyroid (Hashimoto’s syndrome)