The thyroid gland is a part of the endocrine system which produces and regulates hormones in the body. This small, butterfly-shaped organ can be found in the front part of the neck, only palpable when a person swallows (as the thyroid moves up and down). The thyroid produces several hormones, namely:
-Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
-Thyroxine (T4) and
The hormones produced by the thyroid regulate growth, metabolism, and body temperature – which is why thyroid problems (either an underproduction or overproduction of hormones) usually affect weight, activity, and physical development.
Hypothyroidism (UNDERactive thyroid, does not make enough thyroid hormone) and hyperthyroidism (OVERactive thyroid, makes too much thyroid hormone) are two very different conditions, although some signs and symptoms like fatigue are found in both. Managing thyroid problems involves observing these signs and symptoms so recognizing what exact condition you may have is very important.
Note – this article is not intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. If you have symptoms or think you may have thyroid problems, consult your doctor for actual diagnosis and treatment.
Hypothyroidism is characterized by:
1. Weight gain, caused by decreased metabolism.
2. Slow response to stress (“fight or flight” response), caused by decreased sensitivity to adrenal hormones.
3. Slower reflexes and decreased muscle tone.
4. Fatigue, caused by decreased cardiac output and slower heart rate.
5. Constipation, caused by decreased gastrointestinal motility.
Hyperthyroidism is characterized by:
6. Weight loss, caused by increased metabolic rate.
7. Heightened stress response, caused by increased sensitivity to adrenal hormones.
8. Tremors and twitching, caused by increased muscle tone and reflexes.
9. Fatigue, caused by irregular heart beat (palpitations) due to increased cardiac output and faster heart rate.
10. Diarrhea, caused by increased gastrointestinal motility.
Borrowed from www.herbs-info.com