Hyperthyroidism and fertility
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Fertility is influenced by a multitude of factors, one of them being the one related to the activity of the endocrine system. The thyroid is the largest gland of this system, and a disorder in its functioning affects the body from all points of view, including that of fertility.
The functions of the thyroid gland and the symptoms of its disorders
The thyroid is a key gland in the human body, responsible for the production of three hormones: thyroxine, triiodothyronine and calcitonin. Both hypothyroidism (thyroid does not produce enough hormones) and hyperthyroidism (it produces excess hormones) can cause serious health problems. Known in popular language as "gland" problems, disorders of thyroid hormones are likely to affect most processes in the body.
It is shaped like a butterfly and is found in front of the trachea, at the neck. Its proper functioning depends on growth and development, metabolism, heart rate and body temperature, as well as controlling the energy rhythm in the body.
Thyroid disorders can give symptoms that are difficult to detect, when we talk about a minor disorder, but they can also have a decisive impact on the quality of life. The problems in this gland can determine weight gain, the appearance of endemic goiter, but also exhaustion, depression and irritability. Therefore, the symptoms of thyroid disorders range from the physical to the psychological ones, which affect the general state of mind.
In the case of hypothyroidism, the most common symptoms are fatigue, depression, difficulty concentrating, sudden and unexplained weight gain, constipation, dry skin and hair, increased menstrual flow and more frequent menses.
Hyperthyroidism causes symptoms such as nervousness, insomnia, excessive sweating, thinning skin, hair that breaks easily, muscle weakness, trembling of the hands, acceleration of heartbeat, weight loss, less menstruation, and lower flow.
These symptoms may be singular and may be more severe or almost unnoticeable. Because the range is large and includes effects that can be attributed to other deficiencies in the body, few patients go to a specialist consultation. However, thyroid problems are not difficult to diagnose once the specific tests are done, but they are often left untreated because patients are being treated for other conditions.
What is hyperthyroidism and how it influences fertility
Hyperthyroidism is characterized by excess thyroid hormone production, which leads to fertility problems for both men and women. Menstruation in women with an increased level of thyroid hormones occurs less frequently than once a month, and in men we talk about a low quality of semen and a low presence of sperm in the semen.
Hyperthyroidism is more common in young women. They will notice rare menstruation with very low flow. In severe cases, women even face amenorrhea - total absence of menstruation. If hyperthyroidism has not affected the woman's ability to become pregnant and is constant in the case of a pregnant woman, there is a chance that she will suffer a miscarriage, give birth prematurely, and the risk of congenital diseases in the fetus is increased.
A small percentage of women are affected by severe hyperthyroidism, but minor disorders are common, and they are relatively easy to treat. The diagnosis can be made only after medical blood tests, in which the doctor will analyze the hormonal doses for TSH and FT4 and FT3. In the case of hyperthyroidism TSH will have a lower value than normal, and FT4 and FT3 will have higher values.
Medicinal treatments for the regulation of thyroid problems are never given without prior consultation with the endocrinologist. The treatment with a high recommendation is the one with radioactive iodine and, rarely, the surgical treatment by which part of this gland is removed by the surgeon. Hyperthyroidism can only be treated by medical treatment, and the hormone levels, once disturbed, will not return to normal naturally.
And hypothyroidism can create problems for women who want to become pregnant or are already pregnant. Many women with thyroid hormone deficiency are experiencing miscarriages or having difficulty delivering pregnancy.
Causes of thyroid disorders
Thyroid dysfunctions can be caused by genetic inheritance and certain autoimmune diseases, but they are also influenced by environment and lifestyle.
Among the most common causes of disorders in the thyroid gland are stress, prolonged exposure to sunlight, smoking, but also menopause and pregnancy. At the same time, some household cleaning products contain polychlorinated biphenyl, which can lead to disorders of thyroid hormone levels. And certain drugs, such as oral contraceptives, can cause the thyroid gland to produce excess hormones.
With regard to nutrition, it is well known that some foods, although they may not be the main cause of the disorders, may contribute to a certain extent to their triggering or aggravation. We refer to refined sugars, non-hydrogenated oils, white wheat flour and coffee.
For the normal functioning of the thyroid, the following nutrients are needed: iodine, selenium, zinc, iron, Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins. Therefore, it is important to use iodized salt for cooking, and when it comes to diet, you should not miss the fish species rich in Omega-3, shrimp, spinach and other vegetables with green leaves rich in antioxidants.
Have you ever had thyroid problems? How did you overcome them? Write us in the comment section below!
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