The thyroid gland is made up of two lobes, one on each side of the windpipe just under the voice box. The lobes are joined by a small interconnecting mass of tissue. When for some reason the thyroid gland enlarges, that is known as “goiter.”
The thyroid is one of the endocrine glands that secrete chemical compounds into the body for various types of control. These compounds are known as hormones, internal secretions, or chemical messengers. The endocrine glands are also known as the ductless glands of the body, because their secretions are put into the general circulation rather than sent through a duct to a specific area to influence only a portion of the body.
There is considerable interplay among the endocrine glands. For example, the thyroid is stimulated to produce its hormone, thyroxine, by a portion of the pituitary gland (another endocrine gland) by way of one of its thyrotrophic hormones. The thyroid, in turn, influences the reproductive glands and their hormone production, and also controls a portion of the adrenal glands.
There are two major control systems in the body, the nervous system and the endocrine system. The nervous system controls the glands of the endocrine system and in turn the glands have an influence on nerve control of body functions.
Modern science is learning more and more about the control of these two very complex systems. However, there certainly is a great deal more to be learned about them and their continual interplay.
When a thyroid involvement is suspected, the entire endocrine and nervous systems should be evaluated because of this interplay. One of the chief activities of the thyroid gland is to regulate the body’s metabolic ism. Metabolism means, basically, the rate at which the body builds up and tears down. In other words, it is the speed at which the body lives.
When the thyroid is not functioning correctly, the first and most prominent symptom develops as a result of metabolic change.
Hypothyroidism means that the thyroid is no longer as active as it should be. The term “hypo” means “under” thus underactive thyroid.
One of the major symptoms of hypothyroidism is fatigue. Fatigue is a generalized symptom that is present because of the many lowered activities resulting from thyroid hormone deficiency.
Because of lowered metabolic activity, there is a tendency to gain weight which does not correlate with an individual’s food intake and/or physical activity. Protein is the major building block in tissue growth. Thyroxine, the hormone from the thyroid gland, increases protein use within the body. When there is a hypothyroid condition, protein is not deposited as effectively in the tissues. As a result, a child with a thyroid deficiency does not develop adequately. In an adult, tissue health suffers significantly because of hypothyroidism. All body tissues, with only a few exceptions, are involved.
There is a process in the body that breaks protein down into sugar to aid in sugar balance. This process is called “gluconeogenesi s.” It does not work adequately in the presence of hypothyroidism. Thyroxine also influences the rate of sugar absorption from the gastrointestinal tract; consequently, it has some control over how much sugar is absorbed from the food eaten. Another effect of thyroxine on the body’s sugar utilization is its ability to increase the rate glucose is used by the cells. Anyone who has a sugar handling problem should have his/her thyroid evaluated because of its significant role in sugar absorption, utilization, and conversion of other factors to sugar.
The breakdown of fat to sugar is also influenced by thyroxine, which decreases the quantity of circulating fats in the blood and also the quantity of fats in the liver. Because of the role of thyroid gland secretions in the control of fat utilization, individuals with an elevated tri glyceride level in their blood or a congested liver should have the thyroid gland evaluated.
Some of the body’s minerals are regulated by thyroxine. Of particular note is calcium. Thyroxine increases calcium removal by the kidneys. There is another hormone that comes from the thyroid and parathyroid glands which has a bearing on the deposition of calcium in the bones. The parathyroid glands are four small glands located adjacent to the thyroid; they are not part of it.
Symptoms indicating the need for thyroid evaluation are the following: extreme tiredness, sluggishness, decreased heart rate and blood pressure, and increased weight. There may be constant fatigue on dieting, constipation, mental fatigue, thin and slow-growing hair, scaliness of the skin, and a froglike, husky voice. Emotional symptoms may include going to pieces easily, crying, and dislike of working under pressure. There may be associated menstrual problems, a constant feeling of fullness, swelling especially in the face increased cholesterol levels, and brittle, easily-broken fingernails. Hypothyroidism symptoms are widespread because the thyroid gland affects the metabolism of all body tissues.
Danger Of Hypothyroidism
The thyroid gland has an effect on every nerve, gland and organ of the body. It is responsible for overall metabolism, regulation of weight, the production of energy, the storage and burning of fat, the regulation of heat and cold, regeneration of cells, immune function, heart, cardiovascular and circulatory function, ability to think, focus, remember, concentrate, emotional stability and much more.
Hypothyroidism is also associated with menstrual disorders, infertility, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, blood clotting, chronic fatigue, osteoporosis, immune disease, cancer and heart disease.
Robert H Sorge, N.D.Ph.D.
Paint tincture of iodine on the inside of your arm about the size of a half dollar and time it. If iodine spot disappears in less than 24 hours, there is a good chance you are deficient in iodine and other minerals too.
Robert H. Sorge, N.D., Ph.D.
Under-discovered Symptoms Of An Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism)
The thyroid controls how we grow The thyroid controls how we digest food The thyroid affects our thinking capacity It causes us to move sluggishly as though we are in low gear We struggle to think clearly We always feel cold It causes us to gain or lose weight It causes thinning hair It causes dry skin Affects calcium metabolism causing osteoporosis Ed. note: The reason for articles about hypothyroidism in Cancer Forum is to emphasize that a malfunction of the thyroid gland can be responsible for the breakdown in normal cell production and the inability to affect a repair.
Live life fully. There is always an unanswered question and if you live long enough, the secret might be revealed. I think truth is worth waiting for and age is an access to truth.