At times our bodies react in a strange manner for no apparent cause. For example, some people cannot lose weight even after working out for months; others find themselves sweating excessively, even in air conditioning. These people may be suffering from problems of the thyroid gland.
Though often talked about on health shows, our awareness regarding the thyroid gland and the implications of thyroidism remain limited. To begin with, the thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped organ i that lies just below the Adam’s apple. The primary role of the thyroid gland is to regulate the body’s chemical reactions and processes, collectively termed metabolism. This is accomplished by producing a number of hormones that regulate the body’s basal metabolic rate (BMR).
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland located in the brain whenever the body sensors recognise the need to regulate the metabolism. As the name suggests, TSH stimulates the production of thyroid hormones, predominantly triidothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Iodine, a mineral found in some sea foods and iodised salt, is essential for the production of these hormones.
Thyroid Symptoms: Fatigue, Weight Gain, Hair Loss, PCOS
The Institute of Medicine has set the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for iodine at 150 micrograms/day. This shows the significance of this mineral in our diet. The most visible sign of iodine deficiency is that the thyroid gland (goitre) located in the throat becomes enlarged.