Hello beautiful people!
Here's a post about the Thyroid.
Some posts to look out for in the future:
Tis the Season to be Jolly Post on Secret Santas
More Quest Product Reviews + Total Body Workout
My General Outline of My 2013 Fit Semester Plan
Stubborn Fat Burning Cardio
Here's some background on the thyroid:
The purpose of your thyroid gland is to make, store, and release thyroid hormones into your blood. These hormones, which are also referred to as T3 (liothyronine) and T4 (levothyroxine), affect almost every cell in your body, and help control your body’s functions. If you have too little thyroid hormone in your blood, your body slows down. This condition is called hypothyroidism. If you have too much thyroid hormone in your blood, your body speeds up. This condition is called hyperthyroidism.
What controls the amount of thyroid hormone produced?
The amount of thyroid hormone made by your thyroid gland is adjusted by a gland in the brain called the pituitary. Another part of your brain, the hypothalamus, helps the pituitary. The hypothalamus sends information to the pituitary gland, the pituitary in turn controls the thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland, pituitary gland, and hypothalamus all work together to control the amount of thyroid hormone in your body. With the pituitary controlling most of the action, these organs work similarly to the way a thermostat controls temperature in a room.
For example, just as the thermometer in a thermostat senses the temperature of a room, your pituitary gland constantly senses the amount of thyroid hormone in your blood. If there is not enough thyroid hormone, your pituitary senses the need to “turn on the heat”. It does this by releasing more thyroid-stimulating hormone (or TSH), which signals your thyroid to make more thyroid hormone. Your thyroid gland then makes and releases the hormone directly into your bloodstream.
Your pituitary gland then senses that there is just the right amount of thyroid hormone in your body. With your thyroid hormone levels now restored to a normal level, your pituitary slows its production of TSH back down to normal.
While there are a wide variety of blood tests that can be used in the evaluation of thyroid disease, thyroid function testing usually refers to measurement of both TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and thyroid hormone (usually T4) in the blood stream. If the thyroid is functioning normally, the T4 and the TSH are in the normal range. If the thyroid becomes underactive (hypothyroidism) the T4 declines and the TSH rises in an attempt to make the thyroid gland make some more T4. Conversely, if the thyroid gland is overactive (hyperthyroidism), the elevated T4 is sensed by the pituitary and TSH production is decreased in an effort to try to slow down the thyroid.
What can go wrong?
Diseases of the thyroid are often classified into problems primarily involving the structure of the thyroid gland (changes in size or the development of thyroid nodules) or function of the thyroid gland (over active or underactive).
Structural problems can include an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), a small thyroid gland (atrophic) or the development of either single nodules (solitary thyroid nodule) or multiple thyroid nodules (multinodular gland). The evaluation of structural problems of the thyroid is usually done with a thyroid ultrasound.
Functional problems of the thyroid are initially evaluated with thyroid function tests which are used to determine if the thyroid is functioning normally, over active or underactive. Often times a thyroid gland can have both a structural problem and a functional problem at the same time. So the evaluation of a thyroid condition includes careful evaluation of both the structure and function of the thyroid gland
So why am I talking to you about the thyroid? Because a few years ago I was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism [or Graves Disease]. My symptoms were the usual for those with hyperthyroidism:
- increased appetite & increased food intake with steady weight
- rapid heartbeat [tachycardia] and irregular heartbeat with palpitations
- tremors of the hands
- sweating and hot all the time
- sensitive to heat
- irregular menstrual patterns
- frequent bowel movements [sorry, tmi??]
- enlarged thyroid - goiter
- fatigue and muscle weakness
- difficulty in sleep
- brittle hair and hair loss
- discomfort in the eyes, light sensitivity, blurred vision, inflammation
- increased sensitivity to cold
- dry skin
- unexplained weight gain ---- D:
- puffy face
- muscle weakness
- elevated blood cholesterol levels
- muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
- pain, stiffness or swelling of joints
- heavier than normal/ irregular menstrual periods
- thinning hair
- slow heart rate
- impaired memory and forgetfulness
- poor muscle tone
- excessive sleepiness
I'm most scared about the weight gain part! And I've heard it's SOOOO difficult to lose! That some have gained between 15 - 30 pounds, and now it's harder than ever to lose weight, even with restricted calories to 1300 and exercise 6x a week! Eek.... :O... But even though everyone says I should be fine once I find the right dosage of synthetic hormones and level out, I hear it takes a while for that to happen. It's not automatic. It might take a few months, if not years, to find the "perfect" level for my body. Ahhh this is giving me such bad anxiety!
The best thing I can do as of now though is keep monitoring it closely, listen to my body, keep getting my blood checked to find out my current levels so that my endocrinologist can prescribe me the right medication! As long as I continue to eat well and exercise, I'm seriously hoping for the best, and trying to stay positive!
If any of you are experiencing the above symptoms, I highlyyy suggest you go get a blood test to see where your thyroid hormone levels are! Better safe than sorry in the long run!