The thyroid gland is an important organ of the endocrine system. It is located in the front of the neck just below the voice box. The gland produces the hormones thyr (T4) oxine and triiodothyronine (T3), which regulates the speed of your metabolism. Thyroid disorders can slow down or rev up your metabolism by disrupting the production of thyroid hormones. When hormone levels become too low or too high, you may experience a wide range of symptoms.
The thyroid gland is self-regulated by thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), made by the pitutiary gland (sometimes called the master gland) in the brain. TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones (T4 and T3). When thyroid hormone levels in the body are high, TSH production will "switch off," stopping the thyroid from making more T4 and T3.
When left untreated, hypothyroidism can raise your cholesterol levels and make you more likely to have a stroke or heart attack. In severe cases, very low levels of thyroid hormones can trigger a loss of consciousness and life-threatening drop in body temperature. Untreated hyperthyroidism can cause serious heart problems and brittle bones.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone. The condition is often referred to as an "overactive thyroid." Hyperthyroidism is 5 to 10 times more likely to occur in women than men. Risk factors for developing hyperthyroidism include type 1 diabetes, anemia, a family history, eating large amounts of iodine, older age (60 years and above), and previous goiter or thyroid surgery.
The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves' disease. This is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland and triggers the release of high levels of thyroid hormones. One of the hallmarks of Graves' disease is a visible and uncomfortable swelling behind the eyes.
Hyperthyroidism can also result from thyroid nodules. These are lumps that develop inside the thyroid and sometimes begin producing thyroid hormones. Large lumps may create a noticeable goiter. Smaller lumps can be detected with ultrasound.
Hyperthyroidism results in high levels of T4 and T3 circulating in the blood. These hormones will speed up metabolism. When this happens, the following symptoms may occur:
Deficient levels of thyroid hormone slow down the metabolic rate, producing a state called hypothyroidism. It is characterised by weight gain, fatigue, constipation, intolerance of cold temperature, muscle cramps, brittle fingernails, muscle weakness, hoarse voice, elevated blood cholesterol, and joint stiffness.
While rare, individual’s who suffer from hypothyroidism run the risk of developing advanced hypothyroidism if not treated properly. Advanced hypothyroidism (myxedema) can be life threatening. Symptoms include decrease in body temperature, low blood pressure, and unresponsiveness. Untreated cases can lead to a coma or death.
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's disease. This is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks the thyroid gland. The result is damage to the thyroid, preventing it from producing enough hormones. Hashimoto's disease tends to run in families.
In some cases, hypothyroidism results from a problem with the pituitary gland, which is at the base of the brain. This gland produces thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which tells the thyroid to do its job. If your pituitary gland does not produce enough TSH, your levels of thyroid hormones will fall. Other causes of hypothyroidism include temporary inflammation of the thyroid or medications that affect thyroid function.
Hypothyroidism can cause many other symptoms, including:
Homeopathy is highly recommended for the treatment of thyroid disorders in the early stages as the treatment is based upon the fact that disease is total affliction of body and mind . Hence while looking for a homeopathic remedy we take into account presenting complaints along with physical, emotional, and genetic make up of a person that individualizes him/her.