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The Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits low on the front of the neck. Your thyroid lies below your Adam’s apple, along the front of the windpipe. The thyroid has two side lobes, connected by a bridge (isthmus) in the middle.
Brownish-red in color, the thyroid is rich in blood vessels. Nerves important for voice quality also pass through the thyroid.
The thyroid secretes several hormones, collectively called thyroid hormones. The main hormone is thyroxine, also called T4. Thyroid hormones act throughout the body, influencing metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature. During infancy and childhood, adequate thyroid hormone is crucial for brain development.
The thyroid gland produces three hormones: Thyroxine (T4), Triiodothyronine (T3), and Calcitonin. T4 and T3 are what most people think of as “thyroid hormones.” These hormones play a significant role in your metabolism and in energy regulation in the body. T4 and T3 are made in the thyroid gland by using the building block iodine (a trace mineral) and tyrosine (an amino acid). T3 has three molecules of iodine, and T4 has four. You make about four times the amount of T4 as you do T3.
FUNCTIONS OF THYROID HORMONES
After T4 and T3 are made, they are released by the thyroid gland into circulation. This release happens in response to a stimulus from a part of your brain called the pituitary that makes a substance called Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH). TSH tells the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormones into your bloodstream.
Thyroid hormones act on almost every kind of cell in your body to increase cellular activity or metabolism. If there is too much or too little thyroid hormone, the metabolism of your entire body is impacted.
Calcitonin, which this article will not focus on, is a hormone that reduces the amount of calcium and phosphate in the blood and promotes the formation of bone by signaling the body to absorb more calcium into the bone matrix.
There are numerous things that can go wrong with the thyroid gland:
- Overactivity or Hyperthyroidism – when the body makes too many of the thyroid hormones
- Underactivity or Hypothyroidism – when the body makes too little of the thyroid hormones
- Growths – this can include benign cysts, nodules, or cancers of the thyroid gland
THYROID HORMONE & WEIGHT GAIN ( HYPOTHYROIDISM)
In addition, women are seven to 10 times more likely than men to suffer from hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormone
Because the thyroid hormones T3 and T4 control cellular metabolism throughout the body, when there is not enough of them for any reason, this metabolic function slows and becomes impaired and courses weight gain. The most common causes of hypothyroidism are often caused by iodine deficiency. When there is not enough iodine to make thyroid hormones, the body cannot produce them. Iodine is added to salt, which has eliminated almost all iodine deficiency.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF HYPOTHYROIDISM :
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Muscle cramping and aching
- Decreased perspiration
- Changes in blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Swelling in legs
- Blurred vision
- Cold intolerance
- Hoarse voice
- Heavy menses
- Coarse, dry hair and skin
- Hair loss (on head and/or body)
THYROID HORMONE & WEIGHT LOSS (HYPERTHYROIDISM)
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) occurs when your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. Hyperthyroidism can accelerate your body’s metabolism, causing unintentional weight loss and a rapid or irregular heartbeat.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Hyperthyroidism can mimic other health problems, which can make it difficult for your doctor to diagnose. It can also cause a wide variety of signs and symptoms, including:
- Unintentional weight loss, even when your appetite and food intake stay the same or increase
- Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) — commonly more than 100 beats a minute
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Pounding of your heart (palpitations)
- Increased appetite
- Nervousness, anxiety, and irritability
- Tremor — usually a fine trembling in your hands and fingers
- Changes in menstrual patterns
- Increased sensitivity to heat
- Changes in bowel patterns, especially more frequent bowel movements
- An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), which may appear as a swelling at the base of your neck
- Fatigue, muscle weakness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Skin thinning
- Fine, brittle hair
THYROID HORMONE & ITS EFFECT ON WEIGHTLOSS
While weight gain or difficulty losing weight is strongly associated with hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormones play an essential role in body weight regulation, mainly through regulating energy expenditure
It is well established that thyroid dysfunction, including hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, leads to significant changes in body weight and resting metabolic rate (RMR)
hormones play a role in body weight regulation and may help identify individuals more responsive to a dietary intervention aimed at promoting weight loss
Researchers found that higher baseline free triiodothyronine (T3) and free thyroxine (T4) levels predicted more weight loss among overweight and obese adults with normal thyroid function
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