Thyroid: functions, dysfunctions and solutions

Thyroid: functions, dysfunctions and solutions

Can a relatively small gland have a weight – it is appropriate to say – in the clinical history of a person? Can. Modern medicine is firmly convinced of this and even more the doctor Ilaria Messitispecialist in Endocrinology and popularizer on Instagram under the name of @endocrino_logica_.

With her and with the doctor Serena Missoriendocrinology and diabetologist, on the occasion of World Thyroid Daywhich will be celebrated on May 23rdwe took stock of the different ones thyroid dysfunctions and about the help that can come from following one Proper nutrition.

What is the thyroid used for?

«Her hormones do many things for us since we are still in the womb – reads the book by Dr. Messuti The invisible balanceedited by DeAgostininow in all bookstores – The task of the thyroid is to produce two hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3)under the stimulus of another gland, thepituitary glandwhich in turn communicates with the thyroid by secreting a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). If the pituitary is functioning well, TSH reaches the thyroid and allows it to function. When the thyroid becomes sluggish, the pituitary has the task of trying to give it a boost by increasing the production of TSH ».

The functions of the thyroid

The thyroid is a discreet and silent gland, but it performs numerous tasks that are very fundamental for a healthy clinical picture. Primarily, contributes to the neurological and musculoskeletal development of the fetus, and is also essential in all subsequent stages of childhood and adolescent growth. Then its working properly it also affects the central nervous systemallowing to exercise cognitive functions; on the basal metabolic ratedetermining the energy consumption; on body temperature; on the health of the cardiovascular system and of the heart beat and on that of the bones.

When the thyroid does not work properly: hypothyroidism

What is Hypothyroidism? It’s when the thyroid is overworked and goes into slow motion. We live everyday life, but with greater effort. The thyroid does not produce enough hormones and therefore all metabolic processes become less efficient and body, nerve and muscle functions slow down.

THE symptoms of hypothyroidism that you might recognize are: difficulty concentrating; memory that slips; mental confusion; drowsiness; mood deflected with possible depressive symptoms. Very often there is also one deep tiredness, unnatural, due either to lack of mental energy or direct muscle damage. At the cardiovascular level it manifests itself with slow heartbeat (bradycardia). Finally, the metabolic alterations. «But let’s immediately dispel a false myth: hypothyroidism does not make you fat – Messuti specifies – Of course, it can lead to a modest one water retentionwhich is localized mainly in the face, especially in the area around the eyes, and in the lower limbs, with in the most serious cases, a weight gain of up to 2-4 kilos. However, these are liquids, not adipose tissue.

So, how is hypothyroidism treated? «Let’s start by saying that hypothyroidism is one chronic condition. Whether it was established for one chronic autoimmune thyroiditis or for the gland removal, there is no going back. The therapy prescribed by the doctor will be continued for life. The good news is that we have the perfect drug available, a thyroid hormone to be taken by mouth, the levothyroxine. Thyroid substitute, has no adverse effects unless taken in excessive dosage; it is easily taken once a day and has a very low cost».

When the thyroid does not work properly: hyperthyroidism

If the thyroid conversely produces too many hormones, too quicklyis referred to as hyperthyroidism. In this case, the causes they usually are two: or the Graves’ disease, an autoimmune dysfunction due to the production of the TRAb antibody, which is accidentally directed against the thyroid gland and stimulates it to hyperfunction; or the nodule formationwho may decide to become autonomous and produce more hormones than expected.

THE symptoms of hyperthyroidism that you might recognize are: accelerated bodily, metabolic, nervous, muscular functions. In particular: heartbeat; tremors; insomnia; generalized anxiety; breathlessness. The metabolic acceleration causes many calories to be burned with excessive sweating and heat intolerance and significant weight loss.

How is hyperthyroidism treated? “Hyperthyroidism therapy involves the use of drugs, methimazole And propylthiouracilwhich have the function of containing this excess of hormonal production, bringing thyroid tests back to normal – explains Messuti – In some cases, within a few months, the therapy succeeds in its curative intent and rehabilitates the thyroid to work at more physiological rhythms, so the therapy can be gradually scaled up to suspension. However, when this is not possible, a more radical choice must be made: the thyroid must be removed with surgery or turned off permanently. In the second case, one is used therapy call radiometabolicwhich involves the administration of iodine with a little radioactivity, so that the gland is permanently deactivated ».

Happy thyroid: yes, also thanks to proper nutrition

Managing thyroid health also involves the foods we choose to put on the table. Together with pharmacological therapies, which cannot be done without, it is in fact possible help the thyroid with the correct foods to be integrated every day in meals.

But which foods to choose? Which ones to avoid? Answers these questions Dr. Missori with his book “The Biotyped Thyroid Diet” (LSWR editions), in which it offers the reader the opportunity to build a complete and personalized food plan based on their own problems.

Foods to always prefer

What are the elements that they must never be missing in the pantry who suffers from thyroid dysfunction? “First of all, cereals and pseudocereals gluten-free such as rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet ..,; tubers and tuberous roots; quality protein such as organic eggs, lamb, pork…; vegetables organic, km 0 or from a controlled supply chain such as asparagus, carrots, chard, artichokes, radicchio…; fruit organic, km 0 or from a controlled supply chain such as pineapples, avocados, oranges, apples…; And healthy fats such as extra virgin olive or avocado oil; coconut flour; oilseeds such as flax, hemp and sunflower e oily fruit such as almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts…».

Hypothyroidism: an example of a daily menu

If a person suffers from hypothyroidism, what can they cook in a day? Here is an example provided by Dr. Missori, but with the book “The biotyped thyroid diet” it is possible to compose your own menu based on the biotype and the current thyroid dysfunction.

  • Breakfast: Gluten-free bread, salmon and EVO oil or gluten-free bread and pistachio butter;
  • Lunch: pan-fried squid with olives and rocket;
  • Dinner: Basmati rice with anti-aging oil, poached egg and pan-fried chicory.

Hyperthyroidism: an example of a daily menu

What about hyperthyroidism? Here is the menu suggested by Dr. Missori.

  • Breakfast: gluten-free bread and almond butter or apple with cinnamon and lactose-free ricotta;
  • Lunch: chicken breast with sage and olives, Basmati rice with antiaging oil, steamed or pan-fried broccoli;
  • Dinner: omelette with carrots and onion, lamb’s lettuce with oil and lemon and bread.

“The biotyped thyroid diet” by Serena Missori and Alessandro Gelli – LSWR editions

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Source: Vanity Fair