The thyroid gland is located in front of the neck just below the Adam’s apple (larynx). It has the form of a butterfly and consists of two parts located on either side of the trachea. Usually, it is not visible from the outside, but you can feel if you press down the throat with a finger.
What is the thyroid?
It produces hormones that are vital for the body. They regulate the metabolism and heart function, gastrointestinal function, muscle and brain development and maintains the bones. Its proper functioning depends on the presence of iodine in the food we eat.
What is the relationship between thyroid and weight?
For a long time it is argued that there is a close link between thyroid disease, body weight and metabolism. Thyroid hormones regulate the metabolism of the body. The metabolic rate is determined by measuring the amount of oxygen used by the body for a certain period of time. People whose thyroid gland doesn’t work well, have either low values or those with increased function have higher values. Nowadays, however, the study of these hormones is done more easily and accurately to determine whether the gland is working properly or there are any deviations.
Signs that the thyroid is not work properly:
1. Constant fatigue – Feeling of fatigue and lack of energy are symptoms associated with many conditions, but they are strongly associated with hypothyroidism, this disorder is a result of too little thyroid hormone. If you are tired in the morning or during the day after a long sleep, it is a sign that the function of the thyroid is reduced.
2. Bad mood – unusual depression or anxiety can be a symptom of hypothyroidism. Why? It is believed that the production of not enough hormones from this gland can affect the serotonin levels in the brain (the hormone of good mood). By reducing the gland function other important functions in the body also drop which leads to bad mood.
3. Feeling irritable and agitated – agitation is a symptom associated with hyperthyroidism, when the thyroid gland produces too much hormones. If you feel that you just cannot relax, it may be due to an overactive thyroid.
4. Change in appetite and taste – increased appetite can be a sign of hyperthyroidism, when the gland produces too many hormones you may feel hungry all the time. This does not mean that weight increases because the disease usually compensate for the calories due to increased appetite, so the end result is not weight gain. On the other hand underactive thyroid can lead to confusion of flavors and aromas.
5. Memory loss – Of course, this can be caused by lack of sleep or aging, but may be due to thyroid disorder. Too much hormones (hyperthyroidism) can lead to difficulties in concentration and too little hormones (hypothyroidism) to forgetfulness and general brain fog.
6. Lack of sexual desire – little or no desire for sex may be a side effect of the disorder of the thyroid gland. Too little thyroid hormones can lead to a low libido.
7. Palpitations – Do you sometimes feel that your heart beats too fast? This feeling may be a sign of hyperthyroidism.
8. Dry Skin – Skin that is dry and itching can be a symptom of hypothyroidism. The change in skin texture and appearance is likely due to the slower metabolism (caused by too little hormone production), which reduces perspiration. Skin without sufficient moisture becomes dry and scaly. Your nails can also become brittle.
9. Problems with bowel movements – People with hypothyroidism sometimes complain of constipation. Interruption in the production of hormones is the reason for delaying the digestive processes. On the other hand, in case of an overactive thyroid gland can be observed diarrhea or more frequent bowel movements.
10. Change in the period cycle – Long period cycle can be a sign of hypothyroidism, when the gland hormones are in short supply. The period between cycles may also be shorter. In hyperthyroidism, high levels of thyroid hormone create distortions in the menstrual cycle in a different manner. Periods are shorter, farther apart and very light.
11. Pain in the limbs and muscles – If you have unusual or sudden tingling or numbness in the hands or feet, this may be a sign of hypothyroidism. Over time, the production of too little thyroid hormones damages the nerves that send signals from the brain and spinal cord in the body.
12. High blood pressure – According to some doctors, people with hypothyroidism are two to three times more at risk of developing hypertension. One theory is that small amounts of the hormones can slow the heart rate, which affects the strength of pumping blood from the blood vessels.
13. You are constantly cold or hot – feeling cold or fever is associated with hypothyroidism. On the other hand, in case of overactive thyroid the energy is produced too much. This is why people with hyperthyroidism sometimes feel too hot or sweat a lot.
14. Feeling a lump in the throat – lump in the throat may be a sign of thyroid disorder. One way to check is to look at your neck to see if you can find signs of swelling of the gland.
15. Sleep disorder – If you sleep continuously it may be a sign of hypothyroidism, but if you can’t sleep it may be due to hyperthyroidism.
16. Weight gain – rapid weight gain is one of the surest signs of a problem with the thyroid gland.
17. Hair loss – dry, brittle hair or hair loss is a sign of hypothyroidism. Too few hormones deplete the cycle of hair growth and put too many follicles in the “recovery” mode that leads to hair loss, sometimes the whole body, including the outermost part of the eyebrows.
18. Pregnancy problems – If you have tried to get pregnant for a long time without success, it may be due to under or over active thyroid.
19. High cholesterol – may be a sign of hypothyroidism.