Learn More About Thyroid Disorders

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located at the front lower part of the neck, below the Adam’s apple and just above the collarbone. Despite its small size, it produces two very important thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), in response to the thyroid- stimulating hormone (TSH), which is released by the pituitary gland. The primary job of thyroid hormone is to govern metabolism and energy production. Thyroid hormone (TH) also acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain, influencing the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters. There are more T3 receptors in the brain than any other tissue in the body. Too little T3 leads to decreased serotonin levels, which then causes depression.

The Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland through thyroid hormone regulates the pituitary and hypothalamus. The pituitary gland is controlled by the hypothalamus, which releases a hormone called thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). TRH stimulates the pituitary to release TSH. TSH then sends a message to the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormones. If there is an insufficient amount of thyroid hormone circulating in the body, the release of TSH is increased by the pituitary gland to stimulate thyroid hormone production. Conversely, when there are elevated levels of thyroid hormone, TRH and TSH levels fall to decrease the production of thyroid hormone. When a problem arises in communication between the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, a decrease or increase in thyroid hormone production may result in hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, respectively. Figure 30 shows the components of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and thyroid feedback system.

T3

T3 is the most active form of thyroid hormone but accounts for only 1% of active thyroid hormone. The remainder of thyroid hormone exists in the form of inactive T4. Thyroxine (T4) has very little effect on the tissue and cells. The body uses two groups from the amino acid tyrosine and four iodine molecules to make T4. The liver and other tissues must remove a key iodine from T4 to form T3. T3 is the primary thyroid hormone that produces energy and speeds up metabolism. Cortisol prohibits the ability of the body to remove the correct iodine to make T3 and thus reverse T3 (an altered T3) is made.

Thyroid and Size

Despite its small size, it produces two very important thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), in response to the thyroid- stimulating hormone (TSH), which is released by the pituitary gland. The primary job of thyroid hormones is to govern metabolism and energy production. Thyroid hormone (TH) also acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain, influencing the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters. There are more T3 receptors in the brain than any other tissue in the body. Too little T3 leads to decreased serotonin levels, which then causes depression.

Taylor Medical in Atlanta GA will help with thyroid disordersThe thyroid gland through thyroid hormone regulates the pituitary and hypothalamus. The pituitary gland is controlled by the hypothalamus, which releases a hormone called thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). TRH stimulates the pituitary to release TSH. TSH then sends a message to the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormones.

If there is an insufficient amount of thyroid hormone circulating in the body, the release of TSH is increased by the pituitary gland to stimulate thyroid hormone production. Conversely, when there are elevated levels of thyroid hormone, TRH and TSH levels fall to decrease the production of thyroid hormone. When a problem arises in communication between the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, a decrease or increase in thyroid hormone production may result in hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, respectively.

T3 is the most active form of thyroid hormone but accounts for only 1% of active thyroid hormone. The remainder of thyroid hormone exists in the form of inactive T4. Thyroxine (T4) has very little effect on the tissue and cells. The body uses two groups from the amino acid tyrosine and four iodine molecules to make T4. The liver and other tissues must remove a key iodine from T4 to form T3. T3 is the primary thyroid hormone that produces energy and speeds up metabolism.

Thyroid disorders are frequently missed by healthcare providers when thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and total T3 and T4 levels are used as the sole factors to make a thyroid disorder diagnosis. There are many other factors that cause thyroid hormones not to function well. Stress impairs thyroid hormones ability to function properly.

When the body is unable to make T3 from T4, it produces reverse inactive T3 instead. Cortisol which is produced during times of stress inhibits the body’s ability of to make active T3 which results in inactive reverse T3 (an altered T3) being made. Patients can have normal total T3 levels and symptoms of hypothyroidism when most of the T3 consists of inactive reverse T3.

Estrogen also decreases the function of thyroid hormone. Estrogen increases the production of a protein called thyroid binding globulin. This protein binds thyroid hormone making it inactive. Thereby, decreasing metabolism and increasing fat deposits. Be sure to ask our staff about having your thyroid hormones checked at your office visit.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Decreased libido
  • Memory Loss
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Coarse, dry hair and dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles
  • Muscle cramps and aches

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