Gangs, Know 7 Facts About Thyroid!

January is awareness month for thyroid health. However, not a few of us do not know and understand the role of the thyroid gland in the body. Therefore, let’s take a look at some facts about the thyroid gland, so that the Healthy Gang is more aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy thyroid gland and know some of the common symptoms of problems with the thyroid gland.

  • Shaped like a butterfly

The thyroid gland is a hormone-producing organ located near the larynx. This gland is shaped like a butterfly and has sections resembling wings, which are on the right and left sides of the windpipe. The two parts that resemble wings are connected by a section called the isthmus .

  • Small in size but very big role

In terms of size, the thyroid gland is relatively small. It is only about 5 cm wide and weighs about 20 gr. However, this gland has a very large role in the body.

The hormones produced by the thyroid gland are essential in all growth and metabolic functions. In fact, it can be said that almost all functions in the body are affected by the work of thyroid hormone, starting from breathing, digestion, heart, reproduction, body temperature, cholesterol levels , and many more. Stunning, right?

  • Works under the control of the hypothalamus in the brain

The hypothalamus is a part of the brain that functions to regulate the balance of hormones in the body, one of which is the production of thyroid hormone. To be able to produce thyroid hormone, the hypothalamus will produce Thyrotropin-releasing Hormone (TRH), which will be responded by the pituitary gland in the brain by producing Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH).

The bond between TSH and receptors located in the thyroid gland will stimulate the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones, namely triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). T3 and T4 will be released into the blood circulation so they can carry out their roles in regulating various important functions in the body.

Later, sufficient levels of T3 and T4 in the blood will send negative feedback to the pituitary gland to reduce TSH production and decrease thyroid hormone production. In this way, the balance of thyroid hormone levels in our body is maintained. In addition to thyroid hormone, the thyroid gland produces the hormone calcitonin which functions to regulate the balance of calcium levels in the body.

  • Iodine plays an important role in the production of thyroid hormone

Iodine is a type of mineral that is abundantly contained in several types of foodstuffs, such as seaweed, milk and dairy products , as well as several types of seafood and iodized salt products.

In the body, iodine has a very important role. The reason, it turns out this mineral is essential for the formation of thyroid hormone. Iodine deficiency can cause enlargement of the thyroid gland or better known as a goiter (in medical language it is called a goiter ).

Furthermore, the low availability of iodine to form thyroid hormone can cause a person to experience a condition called hypothyroidism. This condition can cause interference with various body functions. So, always make sure the Healthy Gang diet contains enough iodine, okay!

  • Thyroid disorders are common but often go unnoticed

In carrying out its functions in the body, the thyroid gland can also experience interference. There are many types of thyroid disorders but they generally manifest as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland).

Unfortunately, according to the American Thyroid Association , nearly 60% of people with thyroid disorders are not aware of the condition. This may be due to the symptoms accompanying thyroid disorders which are sometimes non-specific.

For example, some of the common symptoms of hypothyroidism include a weak heart rate, fatigue, constipation, increased body weight , and enlargement of the thyroid gland ( goitre ).

Meanwhile, symptoms that are common in sufferers of hyperthyroidism include fast heart rate, tremors, weight loss despite increased appetite, easy sweating, and diarrhea. If Geng Sehat experiences a group of symptoms that are suspected to be related to the work of the thyroid gland, immediately consult a doctor, okay!

  • Pregnant women must maintain thyroid health

The thyroid also plays an important role in pregnancy and fetal development. Thyroid disorders, both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, can have a negative impact on the mother and the fetus she contains. Hypothyroidism in pregnant women can increase the risk of growth abnormalities and mental retardation in infants.

Pregnant women will need more iodine to meet the needs of thyroid hormone production during pregnancy. So, women must be diligent in consuming nutritious foods that also contain iodine, huh!

  • Thyroid disorders also have emotional impacts, friends!

As previously discussed, the thyroid gland has a very broad role in almost all body functions, including the regulation of nerve cells. This causes an emotional reaction that can be triggered by thyroid disorders.

Emotional disturbances, such as anxiety, irritability, and difficulty sleeping (insomnia), are often found in people with hyperthyroidism. While depression and fatigue ( fatigue ) are often experienced by sufferers of hypothyroidism.

However, emotional disturbances caused by thyroid problems are generally temporary and will go away with therapy. This is important for patients and their inner circle to know so that they can better understand the patient’s condition related to the health problems they are experiencing.

Those are seven facts related to the thyroid gland which are very important for their function in our body. We hope that reading this information will make the Healthy Gang more aware of the importance of maintaining thyroid health, and be able to recognize common symptoms that indicate a thyroid gland disorder. Greetings!

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