Thyroid problems have been known to mankind for hundreds of years as goiters (enlargement of the thyroid gland, thanks to www.missionfoto.com for the image).
They were common in regions where iodine is low in the diet, water and soil (low iodine diet). The iodine deficiency results in a deficit of thyroid hormone production, as without enough iodine the body cannot make effective thyroid hormones (T3 or T4 thyroid hormones, thanks to www.endocrineweb.com for this link).
Each molecule of these hormones needs 3 or 4 atoms of iodine and if this is not available in the food or diet, a goiter and hypothyroidism will develop.
On the other hand, the thyroid gland might produce thyroid nodules, which produce much more thyroid hormone than the rest of the thyroid gland leading to thyrotoxicosis, a thyrotoxic condition called hyperthyroidism.
Thyroid hormones stimulate the metabolism of all of the body cells making them produce more protein and the T3 thyroid hormone also increases oxygen consumption in the liver, the muscles, heart and kidneys. Several disease states of the thyroid gland are outlined under the link below (click on “thyroid disease”, which brings you back to the table regarding thyroid problems).
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