What damage do thyroid problems cause to our health? What changes do they cause in our health? How can we control and treat various thyroid problems?
These days, we find many people around us who are suffering from one of the common thyroid disorders, i.e. thyroid hyperactivity or hypothyroidism or autoimmune thyroid disease. Hyperthyroidism is caused by lack of iodine in the body and its severity occurs between the ages of 20 and 50. Although hypothyroidism, especially of the autoimmune type, is seen in teenagers, its prevalence increases with age. But why the function of the thyroid gland is disturbed in some people?
Dr. Fereydoun Azizi, an endocrinologist, answered this question and said: The most common cause of thyroid gland dysfunction in the world is lack of iodine, because iodine is needed for the formation of thyroid hormones, and its deficiency causes a decrease in thyroid hormones and their effects in the body. Iodine deficiency, especially during the fetal period and in the first years of life, causes irreparable complications.
Emphasizing that during pregnancy, if a woman faces an iodine deficiency, her thyroid and her fetus cannot produce enough thyroid hormone, he says: for this reason, the growth of the brain cells of the fetus suffers until after birth, Administering thyroid hormones cannot correct brain development problems that occurred during the fetal period. Giving thyroid hormone can prevent physical growth disorders (height and body growth) and prevent the development of brain problems and lower intelligence.
From goiter to thyroid autoimmunity
The most common thyroid disease is simple goiter (without hypofunction or hyperfunction), which only enlarges the thyroid and its cause is unknown and there is no way to prevent it. Thyroid nodules are relatively common disorders and there is no specific reason for their appearance. This endocrinologist adds: Another common disease is autoimmune thyroid disease, in which substances are secreted from lymphocyte cells (mononuclear blood cells) in the blood of a person, which stimulate and overwork the patient’s thyroid. In most cases, this disorder causes the loss of cell activity and hypothyroidism.
Warning signs of thyroid problems
This endocrinologist answers: In hyperthyroidism, the metabolism of all body cells increases and in hypothyroidism, it decreases. Overwork is associated with heart palpitations, weight loss, anxiety, increased sweating, anger, hand and body tremors. In hypothyroidism, all body movements are mild. Fatigue, weakness, dry skin, weight gain, depression, constipation and feeling cold are important symptoms of hypothyroidism.
The necessity of consuming iodized salt
In our country, since 25 years ago, a national plan to deal with iodine deficiency has been implemented, and in this way, there is no need to avoid special food by consuming iodized salt.
Dr. Mohammad Hashemi, a nutritionist and secretary of the Obesity Prevention Association, says: In addition to iodized salt, animal protein sources should be used in the diet for patients with thyroid disorders, and the best quality protein source in this regard is seafood.
Dr. Azizi also emphasizes: if hypofunction is severe or prolonged, taking iodine will be useless and the person should use thyroid medicines all his life. If hypofunction is due to other causes (other than iodine deficiency), iodine administration will not improve it and thyroid drugs should be used.
Should we take an iodine supplement?
It is true that people should consume less salt, but any salt they consume should contain iodine.
In an interview with Jam Jam, Dr. Hashemi emphasized that some groups, such as pregnant and lactating mothers, need more iodine, and says: In order to regulate thyroid activity, in addition to iodized salt, iodine supplements should also be used, but other groups, if Consuming the necessary amounts of iodized salt do not require iodine supplements and should only use calcium supplements and water-soluble vitamins. Those who suffer from high blood pressure and their salt intake is restricted should use iodine supplements with the doctor’s opinion. He adds: It is said that people suffering from thyroid problems should avoid vegetables such as cabbage and garlic, but this issue has not been scientifically proven.
Prevention is not possible
According to Dr. Azizi, in most cases, there are no prevention methods for hyperthyroidism, but smoking has been proven to aggravate the disease. In those with multinodular goiter, high iodine intake can turn it into hyperthyroidism. Those taking thyroid products due to goiter or hypothyroidism should avoid excessive use without a doctor’s approval.