Before understanding ‘thyrotoxicosis’, which is a disease condition of the thyroid gland, let’s first see the position of the gland itself. The thyroid gland is situated in the neck in front of the larynx and trachea. Its level corresponds to that of the 5th, 6th, and 7th cervical and 1st thoracic vertebrae. It has two lobes, joined by a narrow isthmus, lying in front of the trachea.
The Thyroid gland secretes its hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The cerebral cortex regulates the hypothalamus that secretes a thyroid releasing hormone (TRH) which stimulates the secretion of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) by the anterior pituitary. The levels of T3 and T4 in plasma have a feedback effect on the secretion of TSH by the anterior pituitary. Thus, increased levels of T3 and T4 decrease TSH secretion and vice versa.
Thyrotoxicosis is a syndrome of hyperthyroidism in which the levels of T3 and T4 are excessive in the body. The main effects of hyperthyroidism are due to increased metabolic rate. The gland enlarges. The extra cells so produced secrete the hormones T3 and T4. The metabolic rate is raised. Heat production is excessive There is increased gluconeogenesis from body proteins, causing loss of weight. The patient has a physical restlessness and mental excitability.
Thyrotoxicosis is a psychosomatic disease along with some hereditary predisposition. Some type of psychic trauma precedes the onset of this disease. The disease may manifest immediately after the psychic trauma or after a variable length of the interval.
Why is the thyroid so over-sensitive to the psychic trauma?
Almost all of us happen to experience psychic trauma in life some time or other. Why do some individuals succumb and not others? A genetic explanation may answer this question. Enzymes that neutralize the neurohumors (acetylcholine, catecholamines, histamine) such as cholinesterase, monoaminoxidase, and histaminase may be deficient in the thyroid gland of the patients, and this deficiency may be genetic in origin.
“I am bigger than my problems. I am free from worries. My thyroid is normal.”
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