Thyroid Function

thyroid function

Thyroid function is the production of thyroid hormones, or T4 and T3. Thyroid hormones regulate the speed and metabolism of cells in the body. When the thyroid produces too much of these hormones, a condition known as hyperthyroidism results. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include increased heart rate and frequent bowel movements.

Hypothyroidism raises the level of the bad cholesterol in the blood, and puts people at a higher risk of heart disease. It can also affect the body’s reproductive system, disrupting ovulation and making conception more difficult. It can also result in joint pain and tendonitis, and reduces mental function. Low thyroid hormones may also cause depression. Some women may also suffer from a reduced appetite.

There are several medications that can affect thyroid function. Lithium, for example, is used to treat certain psychiatric disorders and can affect the thyroid. Patients should ask their doctors about these drugs’ effects on the thyroid gland before taking them. Another factor contributing to hypothyroidism is a damaged pituitary gland. This gland produces a hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone, which instructs the thyroid to make the right amount of hormones.

Thyroid hormone levels are often checked during routine screening of overweight patients. The tests should be performed at the same time as cholesterol tests. Increasing LDL cholesterol levels is a risk factor for hypothyroidism. Moreover, being overweight is associated with mild elevations of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), though these are not indicative of thyroid disease.

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