Facts about your thyroid
Here are the 51 facts about thyroid everyone should know
1. The thyroid gland is located in the front of the central area at the base of the neck and produces the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), and calcitonin. To develop thyroid hormones, the human body needs iodine and tyrosine that can be obtained from its diet.
2. Lack of thyroid hormone affects the function of every cell in the body, slowing down the metabolic rate.
3. There is significantly more T4 hormone produced in the thyroid gland than T3. T3 is the active form of the thyroid hormone, while T4 is a prohormone and is metabolically inactive.
4. About 80% of the T3 hormone is produced through the conversion of T4 in the liver, kidneys, peripheral tissues, and cells. Up to 20% of thyroid hormone conversions from T4 to T3 take place in the intestines, but only in the presence of good bacteria.
5. Only 0.5% of thyroid hormone is in “free” metabolic form. Reverse T3 is biologically inactive and blocks the action of metabolically active T3 thyroid hormone.
6. About 30% of the body’s iodine supply is concentrated in the thyroid gland, where the amount of iodine is 20 to 40 times greater than in the blood. Iodine deficiency contributes to thyroid disease, an enlarged thyroid gland, hypothyroidism, and mental abnormalities in children.
7. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an inflammation of the thyroid gland and is sometimes also called Hashimoto’s disease, chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, or autoimmune thyroiditis.
8. In the autoimmune thyroid condition, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, diseases of the grave, and the thyroid of the eyes, thyroid antibodies are significantly elevated.
9. Hashitoxicosis is a short-term event with abnormally high levels of thyroid hormones caused by the destruction of the thyroid gland due to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
10. Goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland.
11. Thyroid peroxidase is an enzyme produced in the thyroid gland that regulates the absorption of iodine.
12. Antithyroperoxidase Antibodies (TPO Ab) act against thyroid peroxidation causing thyroid dysfunction.
13. Thyroglobulin is a protein that builds most of the thyroid gland and stores thyroid hormones T3 and T4.
14. Antithyroglobulin (Tg Ab) antibodies attack thyroglobulin causing destruction of the thyroid gland.
15. Damage to the thyroid gland through antibody activity is permanent.
16. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can occur at any age. However, it is more common in women of childbearing age, during menopause, and in the elderly who have a family history of thyroid disorders.
17. About 80% of the susceptibility to developing autoimmune thyroid disease is attributed to genetic factors, while environmental factors contribute to 20%. Cigarette smoking contributes to thyroid dysfunction and could trigger toxic nodular goiter, severe thyroid, and eye disease, or worsen an existing condition.
18. The incidence of hypothyroidism, high thyroid antibody levels, and autoimmune thyroid diseases tend to increase with age.
19. There is a high prevalence of autoimmune thyroid disease in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and chromosomal disorders, including Turner, Klinefelter, and Down syndromes.
20. There are currently several known genes associated with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4), human leukocyte antigens (HLA), protein tyrosine phosphatase 22 (PTPN22), and thyroglobulin receptor gene. Some of these genes are specific to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, while others are common in Grave and Hashimoto diseases, indicating that there is a shared genetic susceptibility.
21. Environmental factors such as excess iodine, gluten, infections, drugs, and pollutants can trigger Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and contribute to disease progression in genetically predisposed individuals.
22. Celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiform are relatively common in people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis with a prevalence of approximately 20% to 25%, however, there are many patients who are asymptomatic or have subtle symptoms and go undiagnosed.
23. Infections such as Helicobacter pylori, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Borellia could act as environmental triggers for autoimmune thyroid diseases such as Grave and Hashimoto.
24. Antibodies to the thyroid in Hashimoto’s patients were reported to be significantly lower after 6 months and to be virtually undetectable after 12 and 24 months in individuals who followed a gluten-free diet.
25. The intestinal lining is an important immune barrier that is responsible for more than 60% of the immune defense. Imbalances in digestion and intestinal flora cause a malfunction of the immune system and can trigger autoimmune diseases, including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
26. High cortisol levels suppress immune function and promote the conversion of active T3 thyroid hormone to its inactive reverse T3 form.
27. Overgrowth of bad bacteria in the intestines can suppress good bacteria, decrease thyroid function, and interfere with the absorption of thyroid medications and nutrients.
28. Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much hormone thyroxine. Hyperthyroidism can increase your body’s metabolism, causing involuntary weight loss and a fast or irregular heartbeat.
29. The incidence of hypothyroidism increases with age. At age 60, one in six women is hypothyroid. In hypothyroidism, the production of T3 and / or T4 thyroid hormones decreases to abnormally low levels and increases TSH.
30. Mainly, hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid gland that leads to excessive production of T4 or T3 thyroid hormones or both and low TSH. Approximately 20 times more women have hyperthyroidism than men. About 90% of primary hypothyroidism is due to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
31. Secondary hypothyroidism is caused by a disorder of the pituitary or hypothalamus, which leads to a decrease in TSH and low levels of thyroid hormones.
32. Adrenal fatigue is the most common cause of secondary hypothyroidism. Low adrenal function often causes low thyroid function. In adrenal fatigue, the cortisol level falls below normal, making the body more susceptible to autoimmune and inflammatory reactions.
33. The probability of developing Hashimoto’s disease and hypothyroidism increases in women of childbearing age due to changes in hormonal and immune functions during and after pregnancy.
34. Increased iodine and thyroid hormone requirements during pregnancy often contribute to hypothyroidism. The volume of the thyroid gland generally increases during pregnancy. Thyroid hormone production increases by approximately 50% above the pre-pregnancy level.
35. Postpartum thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition that affects 5 to 10% of women in the first year after delivery. Postpartum thyroiditis causes high levels of thyroid antibodies, painless goiter, and hypothyroidism that decrease in most women in 4 years.
36. Hypothyroidism, even with a relatively small increase in TSH, puts older women at risk for cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, and heart attack.
37. Thyroid hormone testing is recommended in women around menopause, after age 60, during pregnancy, after delivery, and in women with unexplained elevated cholesterol levels.
38. Grave’s disease is responsible for hyperthyroidism in approximately 80% of patients. Toxic multinodular goiter, toxic adenoma, and excessive thyroid replacement are other common causes of hyperthyroidism.
39. Hypothyroidism causes decreased hepatic clearance, gallbladder congestion due to the thickening of bile, and gallstones. Hypothyroidism is the second leading cause of high cholesterol after diet. When thyroid hormone levels drop, the liver produces excess cholesterol, fatty acids, and triglycerides, increasing the risk of heart disease.
40. More than 70% of people taking thyroid replacement medications continue to complain of symptoms of hypothyroidism.
41. The underactive thyroid causes a delay in the release of insulin after eating carbohydrates, slows down the absorption of glucose in the intestine and its absorption in cells and tissues.
42. Elevated cortisol helps reduce DHEA, testosterone, growth hormone, and TSH levels, all of which are involved in keeping us fit.
43. Grave’s disease is the next most common autoimmune thyroid condition after Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. With Grave’s disease, antibodies attack the thyroid gland and stimulate it to produce excessive amounts of thyroid hormones. Grave’s disease affects women 5 to 10 times more often than men and generally occurs between the ages of 20 and 40 and around menopause.
44. Thyroid eye disease occurs mildly in 25% to 50% of patients with Graves’ disease, and approximately 3% to 5% of patients develop severe symptoms requiring immunosuppression, orbital surgery, or radiation therapy.
45. Excess estrogen relative to progesterone suppresses thyroid function and reduces the amount of free active thyroid hormones that contribute to hypothyroidism and increase autoimmunity.
46. Hypothyroidism can cause a decrease in sex hormone-binding globulin and an increase in free testosterone that contributes to the development of PCOS symptoms.
47. Progesterone supports thyroid function and aids in zinc and potassium retention, allowing the thyroid hormone to enter the cell and become the active T3 form. Thyroid hormone stimulates progesterone production in the ovaries.
48. The chronic diet suppresses thyroid function and reduces the metabolic rate. Stress, depression, anxiety, tiredness, gynecological and hormonal symptoms can mask a thyroid imbalance.
49. Hypothyroidism does not necessarily mean that the thyroid gland has completely stopped working. Low-grade hypothyroidism can contribute to infertility, miscarriage, fatigue, and depression. Both aging and low thyroid function are associated with decreased mental activity, dry skin, constipation, depression, a higher incidence of atherosclerosis, and high cholesterol, making it difficult to diagnose hypothyroidism in older women.
50. Minimal thyroid hormone excess can contribute to bone loss and osteoporosis, which could predispose, particularly in peri and postmenopausal women, to bone fractures.
51. A typical depression is a common form of chronic depression experienced by women with hypothyroidism that resolves with treatment with thyroid hormone. About 15 to 20% of patients with severe depression have underactive thyroid function