Thyroid symptoms afflict at least 10 million persons in the USA alone. Symptoms of thyroid problems often go undiagnosed, making it difficult to really know how many people are suffering from thyroid symptoms. Thyroid gland functions include the vital role of regulating the body's rate of metabolism.

Women are much more likely than men to have thyroid dysfunction -- as many as 10-20% of women and 1-2% of men may have symptoms of thyroid problems. One type of thyroid dysfunction is the condition called hypothyroidism, also referred to as low thyroid or underactive thyroid.

Thyroid hormones regulate the metabolism rate in the body. Metabolism is a physical and chemical process that generates energy which is used by the cells in the body in order to grow, function and divide. During the development of our body in the womb the thyroid originates at the back of the throat. As the body develops it migrates towards the front of the neck before birth. Sometimes it may migrate too high to the back of the tongue or too far in the chest. These two conditions are very rare.

The thyroid gland secretes two hormones called T3 and T4. The thyroid cells are the only ones in our body which are capable of absorbing iodine. They absorb iodine and combine it with amino acid called tyrosine and make T3 and T4. These hormones are released in the blood and they travel throughout the body and control the metabolism rate. The two disorders of thyroid gland are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is a condition when there is excess of thyroid hormone secretion.

In hyperthyroidism, the level of thyroxine is very high and is caused mainly due to Grave’s disease. Middle-aged women are more prone to this thyroid problem. Weight loss, abnormal heartbeat, fatigue, unusual bowel movements, nervousness, and irritability are the common symptoms. Since the symptoms appear late, it is often misdiagnosed.

Bulging of eyes and double vision are symptoms found in some patients. Radioactive iodine is the main treatment given for hyperthyroidism. In this treatment, a part of thyroid gland is destroyed to reduce the amount of thyroxine produced. An under active thyroid is the main side effect caused by this treatment. Medications used to treat thyroid problems mainly slow down the activity of the thyroid gland. Drugs for hyperthyroidism often have serious side effects.

Lumps or thyroid nodules are mostly harmless. However, certain lumps are cancerous. A ‘fine needle aspiration biopsy’ done in doctor’s office is the most common method used to detect whether a lump is cancerous or not. If the nodule is cancerous, then surgical removal is the only option.Excess estrogen interferes with normal thyroid hormone function. Progesterone helps "oppose" and keep undesirable side effects of excess estrogen from happening. Progesterone helps the body use fat for energy, and when progesterone is present in healthy levels, the thyroid functions more as it is supposed to. Natural cures for thyroid problems are often sought out and recommended for thyroid sufferers.

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