Exactly a year ago, I was diagnosed with Thyroid that turned my life upside down in more ways than one. I have decided to start out this new feature on my blog to share my trials with this lifestyle disease which can cause quite a blow to self-esteem first and body thereafter!
Hoping to reach out to others to aid them in being aware about the issues with thyroid. I did a lot of R&D on the net and off it too, to understand what it is and why it struck me and how do I cope with it in future too.
But first up, what is Thyroid?
There is a tiny butterfly shaped gland located in our throat that regulates the body metabolism and through that influences the growth and development of the body. This is the Thyroid gland.
In a normally functioning thyroid, T4 (Thyroxine) is the main hormone secreted by this gland and when this mixes into the bloodstream, a part of it gets converted to T3 (Triidothyronine) which is the most active hormone.
When the production of thyroid hormones is affected, the hypothalamus in the brain releases a thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) which in turn pushes the pituitary gland to produce thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which promotes the production of more T4.
A under active thyroid results in under production of T3 & T4 leading to a higher TSH number in the body. This is called Hypothyroidism and is the most common form of thyroid which generally affects more women than men. Its marked with weight gain, hair loss, dry skin and overall fatigue.
Often Hypothyroidism occurs in conjunction with auto immune disorder, where the healthy thyroid cells attack the body – this is called Hashimoto’s disease and takes quite a toll on the body.
An overactive thyroid leads to over production of thyroid hormones, resulting in an increase in metabolism. This is called Hyperthyroidism and is not very common in occurrence. Its marked by weight loss, feeling cold, depression and overall fatigue.
Common Symptoms & Signs
Blood Test to check Thyroid
A simple blood test is done by drawing out a little blood which is analysed for TSH, T3 and T4 levels.
Normal range are:
TSH: 0.4 – 5.0 mlU/L
T3: 0.8-2.0 nmol/L
T4: 58-161 nmol/L
Thyroid controls a lot of our body functions; from digestion, excretion, reproductive to hair growth, stamina and sleep, to name a few.
Can you imagine the kind of disruptions in the body if this gland is disturbed? I couldnt and never could figure out why people with thyroid don’t work out enough as they seem to be constantly putting on weight.
Its only after going through it for past one year, that I have come to realise the challenges this issue poses in the body. I have been rendered weak, helpless, dejected and fearful by it initially – you will read all about it in the subsequent posts; hope you do stay tuned in for it.
Did you know about this disease? Do you know of someone going through it?
This post is in response to DAY1 of the #Bar-A-Thon and you could all the posts here