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GSE GSE Thyroid Disorders and their Causes

Thyroid Disorders

First - What is the thyroid and What does it do?

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped endocrine gland  – it sits at the front of the neck below the Adam's apple and wraps around the windpipe (trachea).

The thyroid "C" cells (parafollicular cells) produce the hormone CALCITONIN - which controls calcium concentration in the blood.

Thyroid follicles are the production site for the thyroid hormones triodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) - which control the metabolism rate of the body's cells, and therefore the pace of body processes

-   The thyroid gland contains many follicles - the ouside of these small globular sacs are lined with cuboidal, FOLLICULAR CELLS (aka. thyrocytes) and are filled with a fluid called COLLOID, which contains the T3 and T4 prohormone, called THYROGLOBULIN (Tg).

Image Credit: http://people.upei.ca/bate/html/notesonthyroidfunction.html

Thyroid hormones T4 and T3

The thyroid hormones T3 and T4  influence every organ, tissue and cell in the body:

✔ Heart rate

✔ Body weight

✔ Connective tissue integrity

✔ Energy level,

✔ Muscle strength

✔ Rate food moves through GI tract

✔ Menstrual regularity

✔ Body temperature

The thyroid requires certain ingredients to manufacture T3 and T4 hormones and to convert T4 to its active form T3 - including:

–    Raw materials iodine and tyrosine (an amino acid)

–    Thyroglobulin (Tg),Thyroperoxidase (TPO) enzyme and hydrogen peroxide produced inside the thyroid follicles, the Tg protein molecule converts iodide to iodine via TPO enzyme (mediated by H2O2) for incorporation with amino acid tyrosine residues, to be used for  making thyroid hormones.

–    Antioxidants and antioxidant-supporting nutrients - including selenium, manganese, and zinc, are necessary to control potentially damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS), inherently created in TH production and activation processes.

Support Nutrients Required for Thyroid Hormones

A damaged thyroid may not be able to produce enough hormones (called hypothyroidism), or  may “leak” hormones leading to thyrotoxicosis (high blood levels of TH), and symptoms of hyperthyroidism (usually followed by hypothroidism), since damaged thyroid stops producing thyroid hormones and stored hormones are eventually depleted)

A malfunctioning, overactive thyroid may produce too many hormones (called hyperthyroidism),

For more information on the thyroid hormones:

Thyroid Hormones

When the thyroid malfunctions . . .

Hypothyroidism 

(Under-active thyroid)

Hyperthyroidism

(over-active thyroid)

The thyroid can produce too little thyroid hormone, known as hypothyroidism - which lowers the metabolism rate of the body's cells.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is seen:

 When there is an insufficiency of raw materials - such as iodine, selenium, and/or the amino acid tyrosine for the thyroid to make sufficient thyroid hormones;

✔ In thyroiditis. - where something is damaging the thyroid

Thyroiditis

The mainstream medical treatment for hypothyroidism is to supplement thyroid hormones

–    However, the better solution may be to simply provide the missing raw ingredients (such as iodine/iodide), antioxidants and antioxidant-support nutrients (E.g. selenium, manganese, and zinc) - to enable the thyroid to increase its own production of thyroid hormones without creating uncontrolled, damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS).

–   Over time, supplementing thyroid hormones can result in a “lazy”thyroid

–   And worse, supplementing with SYNTHETIC hormones has been shown to significantly increase the risk of breast cancer.

Thyroid Replacement Hormones

The thyroid can produce too much hormone, known as hyperthyroidism - which speeds up the rate at which each cell functions.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is seen:

✔ In patient's with Grave's Disease

Graves Disease

✔ In certain phases of thyroiditis:

Thyroiditis

Goiter

A goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland seen as a swelling at front side of the base of the neck - it can occur as a result of insufficient thyroid hormone production (hypothyroidism) or excessive TH production (hyperthroidism) or neither.

Goiter

Thyroiditis (includes autoimmune thyroid disease)

Thyroiditis is generally an attack on the thyroid gland causing inflammation, damage and possible death of thyroid gland cells – causes include:

✔  Autoimmune Thyroiditis produces Anti-thyroid antibodies  (most common cause of thyroiditis) – involved in Hashimoto's disease

✔  Infectious microbes

✔  Toxic substances /  Radiation exposure

Thyroiditis

Grave's Disease

An auto immune disease with antibodies against the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) receptor (whilst also activating the receptor); characteristics include hyperthyroidism, high T4, and diffuse goiter.

Grave's Disease

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