Hypothyroidism: when the thyroid is idling

You feel all mollassonne ... all depressed, not really fit. What if they were symptoms of hypothyroidism? This condition is very common: 1 to 2% of the population suffers from hypothyroidism.

The thyroid is a small gland located at the base of the neck, in front of the trachea: just where you close the collar of your shirt. Normally, it is practically not visible or palpable. If it is the seat of an affection, it can grow. This gland is about six centimeters high and three centimeters wide. It is the largest of the endocrine glands. It is placed in front of the trachea just under the Adam's apple, in men.

The hormones of the thyroid

Like all endocrine glands, the thyroid makes hormones, namely:

  • T3, or tri-iodothyronine;
  • T4 or thyroxine;
  • calcitonin (which is involved in the metabolism of calcium).

T4 is produced in large quantities. T3, in small quantities, is obtained, for the rest, by the transformation of T4 into T3, in the liver and other organs.

So that all these hormones are secreted, in the right proportions, it is another gland that plays the conductors, the pituitary, at the base of the brain.

The pituitary is the "head" of the glands of the body and therefore of the thyroid. It is a small gland located at the base of the brain; it secretes hormones including TSH (Thyreo Stimulating Hormone) which regulates the secretion of T3 and T4. If these drop, the pituitary will secrete more TSH to try to increase their concentration.

Thyroid hormones are very helpful. And for many things:

  • An excess of T3 or T4, for example, can increase heat production.
  • And, conversely, a decline in thyroid production leads to cautiousness.
  • But also, a decrease in the secretion of thyroid hormones, will cause a slowing of the heart rate, or a disturbance of the transit, or signs of depression!

Hypothyroidism is relatively common and varies in degree. It is necessary to detect it in order to treat it, indeed, in the short term, it decreases the quality of life of the patients and in the medium term, if it is not treated by thyroid extracts, it will be complicated by cardiac disorders which can to be serious.

Discover our article to know all the symptoms ... until the treatment of hypothyroidism.

Want to react, share your experience or ask a question? Go to our FORUMS Hormones and Thyroid or A doctor answers you .

Read also :

> The thyroid: an essential gland for our body
> The hormonal dysregulation
> Hyperthyroidism: causes, symptoms and treatments

Author: Sylvie Charbonnier.
Expert consultant: Pr Jean-Louis Wemeau, head of the endocrinology department at Chru de Lille

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