Max problems with a microelement

Health Tips

Did you know that your thyroid began to work long before you were born? It is laid at 4-5 weeks of intrauterine development, and at 6-8 weeks, the normal development of the fetus already depends on the hormonal activity of the thyroid gland. The hormones it produces both before and after the birth of a child affect its growth and the development of the central nervous system. And for the production of all these hormones, the gland needs iodine, which it “strains” from the bloodstream. The unborn child receives the entire supply of trace elements from the mother. And if she herself does not receive it in the right amount? From these – the earliest – times of life, a person begins to feel iodine deficiency.

I must say that the lack of iodine is a feature not only of our time and place of residence. The presence of goiter was successfully treated with crushed algae in ancient times. And the protruding Adam’s apples of the magnificent renaissance models prove that in medieval Europe, iodine deficiency was a common thing.

And today, almost all of our compatriots experience iodine deficiency, since our natural Central Russian soil and water are traditionally poor in this element, and not everyone is concerned about providing themselves with iodine-containing seafood every day. Therefore, iodine deficiency to a greater or lesser extent is a reality for any of us. And along with it – a good dozen of all kinds of diseases that affect the thyroid gland and the whole body as a whole.

There is a special disease – congenital hypothyroidism. This is when the thyroid gland in a newborn is completely absent or underdeveloped (just the reason for this, as a rule, is the insufficient intake of the necessary drug by the future mother). Three to four months after the birth of such a child, it is already easy to distinguish from healthy ones: increased drowsiness, poor appetite, constipation, weight gain and growth stop, dry skin and other signs of a lack of vital hormones in his body. Without treatment and intervention of specialists, the next stage will be physical disability and cretinism. But the worst thing is that even with the first visible symptoms, it is no longer possible to return the child to a full-fledged state. Therefore, in order to at least reduce the negative effect, it is important to make a diagnosis and start treatment already in the first month of life, preferably in the first three weeks.

But congenital hypothyroidism is a case of initial absence or underdevelopment of the thyroid gland. Most people receive from nature a complete and strong organ that supplies the body with the necessary hormones in the proper amount. But, like any organ, the thyroid gland is vulnerable to diseases arising from our unrighteous lifestyle. True, mortal sins have nothing to do with it. Unless you consider malnutrition as such.

Yes, after all, whatever one may say, it is nutrition that affects the functioning of this organ. Sports, alcohol, stress do not affect his work too much. Give him only iodine in the right amount.

For a serious damage to the thyroid gland, however, you need not only a significant iodine deficiency, but many years of such an adverse effect on your own body. The fact is that, once in such abnormal conditions, the thyroid gland begins to fight. To capture more iodine from the bloodstream, it increases. The so-called endemic goiter appears, thanks to which the lack of natural iodine is successfully compensated and the normal secretion of hormones is maintained.

The development of goiter – a “working” enlargement of the thyroid gland – is divided into several stages. In a normal state, the thyroid gland is not visible or even palpable. If you can feel it with your hands (it is better to entrust this procedure to a specialist, at least to an ordinary therapist) – this is the I degree of increase. If the contours of the thyroid gland are visible in the normal position of the head or when swallowing – II degree. If the “thyroid gland” is visible at a distance – this is the III degree. Such a significant increase in goiter is not only a lack of appearance. Goiter presses on the trachea, causing a constant feeling of suffocation. This is where surgery is needed.

Changes in the structure of the thyroid gland are often uneven – there are nodes. They cause many painful sensations: pressure on the throat, headache, osteochondrosis. But the worst thing is not that. Nodes can later develop into malignant neoplasms. In other words, cancer. Nine percent of people suffering from nodular forms of goiter become cancer patients. Here, surgical intervention is inevitable.

As for the congenital predisposition, it is not an independent cause of thyroid diseases, but only a catalyst for the onset of diseases for other reasons. A special congenital predisposition can also be called … the sex of a person. Men and women suffer from moderate thyroid dysfunction in a ratio of 1:12. The conclusion is on the surface: women are much more prone to thyroid diseases than men. This is explained by the more active role of hormones in the female body. The main function laid down by nature in it is childbearing. And that, in turn, is “commanded” by hormones. The development of the reproductive system, the course of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy – all mechanisms are controlled by hormones produced by the thyroid gland.

So what about a person who is concerned about the state of his thyroid gland? The easiest way is to go to the nearest therapist, who, without any sophisticated equipment, will palpate your gland and give an approximate answer in the form of a recommendation: is it worth it or not to disturb the specialist. It is even better to undergo an ultrasound in the diagnostic center and give the printout of the results obtained there to the same therapist.

But there are also visible to the naked eye symptoms of a violation of the thyroid gland. True, already in a rather serious stage. And here it’s not worth thinking about the fate of the motherland – you need to pack up and run to the doctor in order to avoid the worst consequences.

If the production of hormones is excessive (the so-called hyperfunction) – a person has an accelerated metabolism. He unreasonably and significantly loses weight, complains of heat, sweats, is overly excited, does not sleep well, the skin becomes moist. With a lack of hormones, the symptoms appear exactly the opposite: edematous fullness, dry skin, lethargy, drowsiness. But, I repeat, these are symptoms of serious disorders, to which it is better not to bring the body …

And preventive measures are simple and accessible to many – the use of iodized salt in cooking, the consumption of special iodized bread, the introduction of seafood into your diet (at least the same seaweed, which today is affordable for most residents of our country). And then you will be able to avoid at least maximum problems by stopping at the initial stages of the disease.

Nikolai VODOLAZOV, endocrinologist

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