What does thyroid mean

What is an underactive thyroid?

The thyroid gland, together with other hormonal glands, influences a large part of the vital metabolic processes in the human body. The hormones tetraiodothyronine (T4 called) and triiodothyronine, (T3)formed and released into the bloodstream. In addition to goiter (goiter) and overactive thyroid function (hypothyroidism) is a common disease of the thyroid gland.

In the case of hypothyroidism, the hormones T4 and T3 are produced in too small quantities. The metabolism is pathologically slowed and the physical and mental performance decreases. The psyche is characterized by weak drive and a phlegmatic temperament. Those affected also complain of weight gain, dry skin, slow pulse and extreme sensitivity to cold. If the underfunction occurs in childhood, physical or mental disabilities can be the result.

At least 2% of all women, but only approx. 0.1% -0.2% of men suffer from an underactive thyroid, which is usually discovered between the ages of 40 and 60. The disease rate increases with age.

Not only factors acquired in the course of life, but also congenital factors are known as causes. Out of 3,000-4,000 newborns, an infant is born with this malfunction. Girls are affected twice as often as boys.

Many people have developed a mild or severe hypofunction of the thyroid due to iodine deficiency that is widespread worldwide. This no longer applies to some areas of Germany, although the iodine deficiency is still not finally eliminated there, but only exists in a lighter form. Unless a goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid gland, draws attention to the thyroid gland, hypothyroidism is more likely to go undetected at first. The unspecific complaints are then often diagnosed as a psychological problem, e.g. depression, and accordingly treated incorrectly.

The hypofunction is recognized mainly through laboratory blood tests. Therapy consists of taking thyroid hormones (usually thyroxine), which compensate for the hormone deficiency.