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6 Myths and truths about the thyroid

6 Myths and truths about the thyroid

The thyroid is a gland of 25 which is located in the neck, between the larynx and the pharynx. It is responsible for producing the hormones thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3), these two hormones act on a number of metabolic mechanisms of our body. So much so that, according to endocrinologist Rosa Paula Mello of Fleury Medicina e Saúde, the thyroid acts as if it were a regulator of all our organs and can also be called by some of the "master gland" ...

By having different functions in the body, when something is out of the ordinary in metabolism it is very common to blame some imbalance on the thyroid. But do all the symptoms that we usually associate with thyroid really relate to the gland?

Here are some myths and truths about the thyroid:

Thyroid disorders can cause changes in weight

Truth One of the functions of the thyroid is to control the way our body uses and stores energy. Thyroid hormones also influence metabolism, and the basal metabolic rate may decrease or increase in most patients with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism due to low or high hormones.

Thus, the intensity of the energy burn is modified. For example, the metabolism of a person with hypothyroidism slows down, so even performing physical activity and diet, the body loses less energy than expected. Similarly, a person with hyperthyroidism may present weight loss due to metabolic acceleration. However, however much this relationship between thyroid and weight is true, it is worth remembering that hypothyroidism does not cause obesity and at most causes a gain of two or three kilos, as Rosa explains. Obesity is associated with a diagnosis of hypothyroidism in less than 5% of cases.

However, when hypothyroidism is started, weight loss may occur, which is modest and primarily due to loss of fluid rather than fat.

Tiredness is the main indication of hypothyroidism

Myth

It is very common to associate fatigue with hypothyroidism, but it is only one of the symptoms of health condition and not the main or only symptom. Rosa explains that the diagnosis of a thyroid disorder depends on a combination of factors. Often the cause of fatigue is more related to the routine, rest and feeding period than the thyroid itself.

But if this fatigue is accompanied by other metabolic symptoms, then yes may indicate a problem. Here are the main symptoms of thyroid disorders. However, it is always important to consult a doctor to know the correct diagnosis and to take the necessary action. Some people are more likely to have thyroid problems

Truth Thyroid disorders can affect people of different ages. But there are some groups that have a predisposition for health status.

Rosa states that anyone who has cases of thyroid disorder in the family can develop the picture throughout life. Similarly, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases, such as diabetes and vitiligo, may also develop the disorder.

Iodine deficiency can cause thyroid imbalance

Truth

Iodine is an important mineral for the body . It is found mainly in seafood and plays a major role in the production of thyroid hormones.

Iodine deficiency can impair the production of T3 and T4. This problem is not common in Brazil, because here our salt is iodized by law, precisely to avoid these problems. But people from many other countries who suffer from low amounts of iodine in food are at risk of developing hypothyroidism.

Every thyroid nodule is malignant

Myth Not every thyroid nodule is malignant. Thyroid nodules can have different causes. They may occur simply by changes in the gland itself, as well as the possibility of malignant or benign tumors.

The most important is to seek a doctor and make the necessary tests to find out the cause and correct treatment for the lump in the thyroid. It is important to remember that non-cancerous nodules are not life-threatening and many do not require treatment.

Thyroid ultrasound is required constantly

Myth

Only people with thyroid nodules need to perform ultrasound periodically. Rosa explains that many tests are performed without any need and that this may, in fact, lead to the appearance of thyroid nodules.

Therefore, before performing ultrasound, it is best to perform the TSH test, a blood test to check for thyroid problems, and can be done together with the T3 and T4 test. If a nodule is detected, a biopsy is required to find out if it is benign or malignant .


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