Synthroid (levothyroxine) is a medicine for the thyroid gland that replaces the hormone normally produced by your thyroid gland to regulate energy and metabolism of the body. Levothyroxine is prescribed when the thyroid gland does not produce enough of this hormone on its own. Synthroid treats hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone). Synthroid is also used to treat or prevent goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), which can be caused by hormonal imbalance, radiation therapy, surgery or cancer. Before you start using Synthroid, you are recommended to find out how the thyroid gland works and how Synthroid can help to improve its functions.
The thyroid gland consists of follicles – these are like bubbles in which the synthesized thyroid hormone accumulates in a protein-related condition. When more of these hormones are needed, some of the fluid that is inside the follicles and includes thyroid hormones (this fluid is called a colloid), is captured by the cells of the follicle shell, the protein collapses, and the hormone enters the blood. If the thyroid gland works too intensively, then such follicles become excessive, they produce more hormones. And if the thyroid gland does not work enough, the follicles swell, become large, there is a lot of colloid inside them, because there are few hormones produced and few of them enter the blood.
The thyroid gland is located somewhat lower than your larynx. The tissue of the thyroid gland is actively circulating. The intensity of the blood flow in it is 50 times higher than in the muscles. The function of the thyroid gland is to convert iodine from food into thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The main cause of thyroid nodules is the chronic shortage of iodine in food. The main most effective and safe method of mass iodine prophylaxis is the use of iodized table salt. Each gram of salt contains about 40 micrograms of iodine. Consumption of about 3-4 grams of salt per day provides a normal level of iodine in the body. Thyroid cells are the only cells in the body that can absorb iodine.
These cells combine iodine and tyrosine amino acids, thus forming T3 and T4. Triiodothyronine (T3) contains 3 iodine atoms, and thyroxine (T4) 4 atoms. Synthesized hormones enter the bloodstream and are transported throughout the body, where they control metabolism (converting oxygen and calories into energy). The metabolism of each cell in the body is regulated by the hormones of the thyroid gland. The normal thyroid gland produces approximately 80% of T4 and approximately 20% of T3.
Physiological activity of T3 is approximately 3-10 times higher than T4. If necessary, one molecule of iodine is split off from T4 and it turns into T3. The work of the thyroid gland depends on whether iodine enters the body. It is needed because the thyroid hormone contains iodine atoms, which we must receive together with food. Both the excess and the lack of iodine is equally harmful, so there must be certain norms of its consumption.
The thyroid gland is not only responsible for the production of a number of hormones, but it itself is regulated, and also has a direct, very serious effect on various types of tissues. If, during pregnancy, the fetus or already a newborn child had problems with the thyroid function, iodine was not produced enough, it can greatly affect mental abilities, up to cretinism. In adults, the thyroid hormone affects energy metabolism and the nervous system. If the thyroid produces an excess of hormones, then there is overexcitability, and if, on the contrary, they are not enough, the person suffers from lethargy and apathy.
There are 8 signs of the thyroid dysfunction:
The thyroid gland is a complex mechanism, therefore the slightest irregularities in its work can be manifested by a variety of symptoms that masquerade as other known diseases – cardiac, neurological, gastroenterological. However, it is possible to identify the most common disorders of the thyroid gland, which are often encountered in the work of endocrinologists.
Dysfunction of the thyroid gland can be considered as its tension, partially compensated by the forces of the organ itself. This occurs with various kinds of stresses on the body (mental, physical, temperature, adaptive, etc.). To overcome them, activation of the thyroid gland, nervous and vascular system, as well as metabolic processes in different organs is required.
Only the maximum stress of the thyroid gland activity can provide increased needs in its hormones. Only at the expense of such intensive work is achieved a “normal” level of hormones in the blood. And the first signs of changes occur at the microstructural level. They are hardly noticeable.
With thyroid dysfunction, the body’s energy supply (carried out by hormones) occurs moderately and unevenly. The most intensive energetically exhausted structures. As a result, the suffering of these organs develops and changes in their functional manifestations. The symptoms listed at the beginning of the article appear.
8 ways of natural treatment of thyroid dysfunction:
To treat hypothyroidism, a drug containing an active ingredient called “levothyroxine sodium” Synthroid is needed. Take it exactly as it is prescribed. After 6-8 weeks after the start of the treatment, it is necessary to see the doctor to see if the prescribed dose is adequate. If the dose is too low, you may have signs of hypothyroidism: constipation, chilliness, lethargy, weight gain. Signs of an overestimated dose may include nervousness, sleep disturbance, trembling (tremor).
In the presence of heart disease, an excessive dose of a hormone can cause heart rhythm disturbances and chest pain. Patients with heart failure are usually led initially to a small dose of levothyroxine, gradually increasing it as needed.
If at the time of diagnosis, hypothyroidism has a severe course, treatment should be started immediately. Severe untreated hypothyroidism can lead to a rare, but life-threatening complication – a hypothyroid (myxedema) coma. Treatment of hypothyroidism is usually lifelong, so it is important to take the prescribed medication in strict accordance with the recommendations. In some people, hypothyroidism has a progressive nature, so that the dosage of the resulting hormone requires a gradual increase as thyroid function diminishes.