Treatment Of Underactive Thyroid

By Patricia | April 16, 2010

An underactive thyroid constitutes a condition known as hypothyroidism. It is characterized by an inadequate production of thyroid hormones which results in reduced metabolism. The thyroid gland releases hormones into the blood stream and is hence known as an endocrine gland. Hormones are actually chemicals which the body produces. Hormones help in the regulation of the organs and cells. Two hormones are produced by the thyroid gland, thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These hormones control the metabolism of the body and determine how fast the body utilizes energy. The rate at which reactions occur in the body is also determined by these hormones. The body’s rate of metabolism affects the weight of the body and also how much sleep your body needs. The two hormones secreted by the thyroid gland increases the metabolism of the body, resulting in quicker body functioning. The production of the two hormones is regulated by another hormone known as the thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH. This hormone is produced by the pituitary gland which is situated in the brain.

Causes And Symptoms

The causes of hypothyroidism include lymphocytic thyroiditis which usually develops after hyperthyroidism and hashimoto’s thyroditis which is an autoimmune disorder wherein the immune cells begin attacking the thyroid tissue. Destruction of the thyroid gland due to surgery or radioactive iodine could also result in underactivity of the thyroid gland. Disease of the pituitary gland is another cause of hypothyroidism. Other causes of this condition include iodine deficiency and intake of certain medications. The symptoms of hypothyroidism come on gradually. They start out mild and hence may not be very noticeable. Once the condition develops, the bodily functions begin to slow down and symptoms such as tiredness, sleepiness, sensitivity to cold, dryness of the skin, thinning hair, slow muscle movements, weight gain, constipation and depression may occur.

Diets And Treatment

It is very important to seek medical advice in case of hypothyroidism. There are also some home remedies which may be used in conjunction with medical treatment. Yoga is believed to be effective in stimulating the thyroid gland. If you have gained excess weight, you can start out with short walks followed by yoga. Hypothyroidism is likely to result in sluggishness and hence it is important to keep performing small exercises at regular intervals. Avoid consumption of coffee and other caffeinated beverages. Also refrain from eating simple carbohydrates such as baked foods. Intake of vitamin B complex is also very helpful in treating an underactive thyroid gland.

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