The thyroid gland is located in the front of your child’s neck, below the larynx (voice box). The small, two-inch gland consists of two lobes, one on each side of your child’s windpipe, connected by tissue called the isthmus.
Through the hormones it produces, the thyroid gland influences almost all of the metabolic processes in your body. Thyroid disorders can range from a small, harmless goiter (enlarged gland) that needs no treatment to life-threatening cancer. The most common thyroid problems involve abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Too much thyroid hormone results in a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Insufficient hormone production leads to hypothyroidism.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism often develop gradually and can sometimes take years to manifest. Women in their fifties and older are more likely to have hypothyroidism then men; however, teenagers, children and even infants can be affected by this condition. Typical signs that you may have hypothyroidism include increasing fatigue and weakness, often with unintentional weight gain. Skin can become dry, rough and pale, with hair loss and dry, brittle nails. Other frequent problems are sensitivity to cold, muscle or joint aches, constipation, depression, irritability, memory loss, abnormal menstrual cycles with heavy blood flow, and decreased sex drive.
If hypothyroidism is left untreated, symptoms of myxedema can appear. These include very dry skin, and swelling around the lips and nose called non-pitting (firm) edema. More severe symptoms can be life-threatening and include low blood pressure, decreased body temperature, shallow respirations, unresponsiveness and even coma. Fortunately, advanced hypothyroidism such as this is quite rare.
There are various reasons that can lead to hypothyroidism. Some of the common causes are as follows:
- Hashimoto disease
- Radioactive iodine therapy
- Thyroid surgery
- Congenital disease
- Pregnancy and postpartum.
- Iodine deficiency
Hypothyroidism can be diagnosed in the following ways:
- Physical examination:Your doctor might slightly press your thyroid gland to check for any inflammation or any such anomaly.
- Blood test: A blood test is usually done to check for the levels of thyroxine or T4, the triiodothyronine (T3) hormone and that of the TSH in the blood stream. With a condition like hypothyroidism the levels of T3 and T4 appear to be normal but the TSH levels would be low.
- Thyroid scan:This is usually done if the doctor suspects any structural changes in the gland. An ultrasound or thyroid scan can detect the presence of cysts, their nature and also the extent of thyroid enlargement that has taken place along with hypothyroidism.
Here is a simple recipe for a drink that will help you regulate a normal thyroid function:
- Ground cinnamon- ½ teaspoon
- Ground ginger- ½ teaspoon
- Ground nutmeg- ¼ teaspoon
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice- ¼ cup or 1-2 lemons
- Freshly squeezed orange juice- ¾ cup or 3 oranges
- 100% Pure and unsweetened cranberry juice- 1 cup
- Purified water- 7 cups
Bring water to a boil; add cranberry juice, reduce heat to low.
Add cinnamon, ginger, & nutmeg, stir and let simmer for 20 minutes; let it cool down to room temperature. Stir in orange & lemon juices.
Enjoy this healthy and refreshing drink!