Swelling of the legs with thyroid disease
In a single "orchestra" of endocrine glands,controlling our body with the help of hormones, one of the leading "tools" is the thyroid gland. This small organ behind the larynx, shaped like a butterfly, and in structure - to a raspberry or blackberry, supports the metabolism in every cell of the body, protects us from stress and other unfavorable conditions. However, the thyroid itself needs protection and careful respect from our side. How can she be helped? These and other questions are answered by the endocrinologist Alexander Semenovna ENINA.
- Alexandra Semenovna, do you often find any violations in the thyroid gland in your practice and why do they occur?
- With thyroid dysfunctionendocrinologists have to meet very often. More probably, only with pancreatic diseases, especially diabetes mellitus, the number of patients that is multiplying today like the epidemic. Pathologies of other endocrine glands are much less common.
Factors contributing to thyroid diseasesgland, quite a lot: this is a hereditary predisposition, and radiation, and climate (our thyroid gland prefers summer and south). And, of course, the stresses, which first of all hit the thyroid gland, because all of our troubles, it seems to take over.
But still the most common cause of diseasethyroid gland is an inadequate intake of iodine into the body. Unfortunately, most regions of our country, including St. Petersburg, suffer from iodine deficiency. But the inhabitants of southern countries, where people eat a lot of fruits and seafood, rarely face the diseases of the thyroid gland.
- Why does the thyroid require iodine?
- Iodine is part of the hormones of thyroxine andtriiodothyronine, which synthesizes the thyroid gland. With a lack of iodine, these hormones are not produced enough - and after all they control the basic metabolism in the body, work in all of its cells and systems, without them the body is simply not viable. When a child grows, his thyroid gland grows and develops with him. The load on it is especially high in adolescence, when the process of puberty is in progress, as well as in women during pregnancy. The need for a gland in iodine increases, and it can only be obtained with food. So it turns out that iodine is often not enough for us.
- What happens in the body with a deficiency of iodine?
- There is a decrease in thyroid function,which is called hypothyroidism. This is a deficiency of thyroid hormones, which leads to a sharp decrease in metabolic processes. Cells of all systems and organs start to work not in full force. From the side of the nervous system, hypothyroidism manifests itself as a slowed-down thinking and movements, a memory disorder. If it appeared in the intrauterine period, the child in the future will not have time to go to school. With age, drowsiness appears, the intellect decreases; a person is threatened with rapid vascular sclerosis, early senile dementia.
Outwardly it is usually people full, with pale skin,dull and brittle hair and nails; they have swollen upper and lower eyelids, sluggish speech. At women due to an edema mucous the voice becomes rasping. There are edemas of the lower extremities, joint arthrosis develops, these people walk very slowly. With latent hypothyroidism, they usually complain only of rapid fatigue, lethargy, memory loss, impaired reproductive function, weight gain due to fluid retention. But when there are swelling on the face, especially on the eyelids, bags under the eyes - this is an obvious hypothyroidism.
- How can you help such a patient?
- You can help with combination therapy, whichis always individual, because the causes of hypothyroidism can be different. Due to lack of iodine, primary hypothyroidism occurs, and then iodine preparations are treated. But there is also a secondary hypothyroidism associated with the fact that the pituitary gland, as a result of trauma or cerebral bleeding, stops the production of a thyroid-stimulating hormone that controls the thyroid gland. In this case, one iodine will not help, you need therapy with thyroid medications to restore the production of thyroid hormones. If it is not possible to restore, then the synthetic analogues of these hormones are administered to a person. Usually hypothyroidism somehow manages to be cured.
- How do endocrinologists refer to the independent use of iodine chemotherapy drugs?
- Many iodine preparations are made on caseinbasis. In addition to the fact that casein itself can cause allergies, it still prevents the assimilation of many foods in our intestines, and under-oxidized foods can aggravate allergies. As for iodine, although in Russia it is almost always lacking, I am against taking artificial iodine preparations. The fact is that inorganic iodine (for example, from potassium iodide) is absorbed in the intestine almost completely, so its overabundance is easily achieved. It is possible even when applied to the skin with iodine tincture. And our thyroid gland needs a limited amount of iodine, otherwise the formation of its hormones, which includes not only iodine, but also many other microelements, will be disrupted.
"What is the solution?"
- Natural compounds of iodine. When this element in the body is enough, the process of absorption is suspended, and all excess iodine is simply eliminated from the body. Therefore, there is never an overdose of organic iodine.
Obtaining organic iodine is best in the form of fishand seafood. Or you can use extracts from seaweed - spirulina or kelp, sea kale. However, in its pure form, sea kale in large quantities is not recommended to use: it has the property of extracting from sea water and accumulating heavy metals. There are no heavy metals in the hoods. A certain preventive effect is the use of iodized salt in food instead of the usual one.
- Why does the thyroid gland sometimes grow goiter?
"When iodine is not absorbed enough, the thyroid cells begin to increase in size to capture as much iodine as possible and produce the required amount of hormones.
In areas of the world where iodine in soil and waterespecially small, there is a so-called endemic goiter. There, people often have an increase in the thyroid gland, so noticeable that it changes the shape of the neck, and in severe cases can even pinch the trachea, cervical vessels and nerves. When the gland increases evenly it is a diffuse goiter, but it happens that there are condensations in it - nodes, and the goiter is called nodal. The malignant disease, which occurs in early childhood and is caused by a lack of iodine in food and water, is successfully treated with iodine preparations.
Sometimes the cause of goiter is a violationabsorption of iodine in the intestine, the effect of toxic substances on the body or congenital impairment of hormone production by the thyroid gland. In this case, the patient is administered thyroid hormones. But the main danger of nodular goiter and thyroid nodules is their ability to degenerate into a malignant tumor. Therefore, it is necessary to treat the nodes of the thyroid gland, and the treatment is individual, depending on their nature.
- Whether there are inflammations of a thyroid gland?
- Yes, such diseases exist and are calledthyroiditis. Of these, the most common autoimmune and subacute thyroiditis. Autoimmune thyroiditis is the result of a genetic defect in the immune system: it produces antibodies that take the cells of their own thyroid gland for foreign ones and damage them. The gland becomes denser, its ability to produce hormones decreases, that is, hypothyroidism develops.
A subacute thyroiditis is caused by a viralinfection. There are pain in the thyroid gland, possibly a fever, a deterioration in overall well-being. Here, too, urgent treatment is required, since persistent hypothyroidism may occur, and in severe cases, surgery is necessary.
- Let's move on to the conditions associated with excessive production of hormones by the thyroid gland. How are they manifested?
- Such a state, in which the productionthyroid gland thyroid hormones significantly exceeds the norm, called hyperthyroidism, or thyrotoxicosis. Externally, thyrotoxicosis looks like this. A woman comes and complains that she always eats, does not limit herself in anything, but constantly grows thin. She is terribly nervous, impatient, aggressive, explodes on any occasion, screams at relatives and friends, at employees. At work, he can not concentrate. Her nervous system is constantly overexcited, this causes serious sleep disorders, memory is weakened. The thyroid gland is markedly enlarged due to the strong blood flow. Heart pounding, pulse. 150-160, without pauses. Many develop weakness, heart failure, swelling, atrial fibrillation.
Another characteristic symptom is very fastperistalsis of the intestine. Immediately after eating, the patient runs to the toilet, food does not have time to digest - it's no wonder that a person loses weight. He is destroying proteins. He is always hot, the skin is hot, sweaty, the pressure is increased. In advanced cases, eyeballs protrude. Osteoporosis often develops. All this is a manifestation of the destructive (catabolic) action of hormones.
- What are the causes of thyrotoxicosis?
- The reasons are different. To release into the blood of excess thyroid hormones often leads to very strong stress. Sometimes this is an excess of iodine in food. A shortage of iodine can stimulate the production of the pituitary thyroid-stimulating hormone, which gives a signal for the growth of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland begins to grow. This growth can occur unevenly. Cells that produce thyroid hormones grow faster than nourishing and other gland cells. As a result, the foci form foci in the thyroid gland, which take on the "increased obligations" for the production of hormones - there are so-called "burning thyrex". This type of disease is called nodal toxic goiter. In the same cases, when the thyroid gland begins to increase evenly and at the same time produce many hormones (diffuse toxic goiter), their destructive effect on the cells and tissues of the body is even stronger. And all the energy that we get with food, goes into heat, because the metabolic processes in the cells are very intense.
- How is thyrotoxicosis treated?
- The doctor-endocrinologist begins with the fact thatprescribes to the patient thyreostatic drugs that reduce the production of thyroid hormones. It is important here not to fall into the other extreme - do not cause drug hypothyroidism. During this period, very good use of bee products, especially royal jelly - it strengthens the heart. And when the production of hormones has already decreased, be sure to connect the diet and add iodine products to avoid hypothyroidism.