Hormonal Imbalances - ANSWER TO EVERYTHING
Hormonal Balance and the Human Body
Hormonal balance can be hard to understand and the way it works sure is confusing sometimes to most people. The comfortable couches and our reliance on fast food, our automobiles that we rely on, the spread out cities which means we never to touch a foot on the ground and walk on a daily basis makes us fat. Why is it that we can't be lose weight and be the thin beautiful people that we want to be?
Have you ever heard of someone saying " Maybe you should check your Thyroid?" There is a whole reason why they say that.
The Thyroid is a small gland located in the front of the neck that is shaped like a butterfly, it's made up of two different sections: The Lobes and The Isthmus. It releases hormones that control metabolism—the way your body uses energy and regulates vital body functions including:
- Heart Rate
- Menstrual Cycles
- Muscle Strength
- Body Temperature
- Sex Drive
Millions of people suffer because their Thyroid hormone levels (TSH) are too low. It's easy to overlook their effects of a healthy thyroid gland, as easy to overlooking simple good health. There are two conditions, Overactive Thyroid (Hyperthyroidism) and Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism). First off, overactive Thyroids are when the gland makes and releases more Thyroid hormone than your body needs. The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is an autoimmune condition called Graves' disease. The body's immune system creates an antibody that causes the gland to make an excessive amount of thyroid hormone. Graves' disease runs in families, and usually affects younger women. An overactive Thyroid has symptoms such as:
- Sudden weight loss
- Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) commonly more than 100 beats a minute, irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) or pounding of your heart (palpitations)
- Increased appetite
- Nervousness, anxiety
- Changes in menstrual patterns (For Women)
- Difficulty sleeping
- Skin thinning
- Thin brittle hair
The other Hypothyroidism,aka; Hashimoto's Disease is a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid. The inflammation from Hashimoto's disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis (CLT), often leads to an underactive thyroid gland. It affects middle-aged women but also can occur in men and women of any age and in children.
The signs and symptoms of Hashimoto's Disease include the following:
- Fatigue and sluggishness
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Pale, dry skin
- A puffy face
- Unexplained weight gain
- Muscle aches
- Excessive menstrual bleeding
- Depression and Anxiety
Given the thyroid's importance to metabolism and other body related functions, any insult to the system wether it's stress or hormone related problems can block the critical conversion of one type of thyroid hormone to another, a conversion that is the key to your metabolism regulation. Let's just take a couple minutes to discuss how the thyroid hormones are made. First off, the backbone of thyroid hormone is an amino acid called ' Tyrosine' which is naturally in protein (and also available in the form of a capsule or pill form in many health/organic stores. There are two types of thyroid hormone, Triiodothyroinine (T3) and T4. The 3 and 4 refer to the number of iodine molecules attached to the double ring structure. A healthy thyroid gland produces about 80% T4 and 20% T3. The T4 is considered and "inactive hormone." In order for the T4 hormone to become activated, one of the iodine molecules on the outer ring must be removed by special enzymes. This process is known as T4 or T3 conversion (Deiodination).
The brain regulates thyroid hormone production. Your body is a collection of different systems constantly changing based on the short-term and long-term messages it receives from the brain. All this starts with the signals from the brain. Your body is undergoing a stressful event, the brain immediately starts sending messages to parts of the body in the form of hormones. The hormones originate in the section of the brain known as the Hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates the internal activities of the body. Along side with hormone production, the activities include: sexual behavior, emotions and the functions of the autonomic nervous system. The hypothalamus is located behind the eyes, hard wired to almost the entire nervous system and directs "Fight or Flight" impulse.
To get to the thyroid, the hypothalamus sends messages to the pituitary gland (the pituitary gland is a tiny organ, the size of a pea, found at the base of the brain) in the form of a hormone known as TRH (Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone). The gland then responds to the arrive of the TRH by releasing a second hormone known as TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). The TSH travels through the bloodstream to the thyroid gland and directs it to produce thyroid hormones. The pituitary gland is responsible for making sure the level of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream remains constant, so if thyroid hormone levels fall, the pituitary gland increases its production of TSH.
Under certain circumstances such as stress and anxiety, the thyroid can have and affect on the mind, so the mind can have an effect on the thyroid gland. Stress is the most common and major ones that play and important role in the performance of the thyroid. When you are under stress, the body sends messages triggering responses from many hormones. Ones of the hormones we are all aware of, such as Epinephrine (Adrenaline) provides the extra energy and excitement often needed to get through a stressful situation. But in other cases if the stress lasts for a long time, such as the kind you feel after a survival situation, the loss of a loved one, your endocrine system become overworked and overburdened. This can lead to many other health problems. The body becomes helpless and the immune system drops which prevents it from fighting the toxins and infections that would hurt the thyroid gland or stimulate it to produce excessive amounts of hormones. Also, during stress the hormone Cortisol plays another important role here. Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that helps regulate blood pressure and cardiovascular function, as well as the body's use of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. This hormone also controls physical and psychological stress during "Fight or Flight" response which is why it's called the 'Stress Hormone'. In times of high chronic stress, the body can experience elevated levels of cortisol, which can have negative short-term and long-term effects on the overall health of the individual.
If you have any concerns and questions about your thyroid, visit your MD or PCP for lab work (CBC and TSH levels), this will help you determine if you have any problems related to your thyroid.
Signs of Thyroid Problems
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