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Thyroid Hormones: Functions, Excess Effects and Deficiency

The thyroid hormone is one of the most important hormones in the body because its presence affects every cell and organ. This hormone is produced by glands shaped like butterflies in the middle of the front of the neck.

There are three hormones produced and released by the thyroid gland, namely thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), and calcitonin. Because thyroid hormones play an important role in the body, excessive or too little production will have a direct impact on general body health.

The function of the Thyroid Hormone

Some of the things below are functions that thyroid hormone has, namely:

  • Control the calorie-burning process carried out by the body. This metabolic control can have an impact on a person's weight gain or decline.
  • Control the speed of food processing in the digestive system.
  • It helps regulate heart rhythm and blood pressure.
  • Increase or decrease body temperature.
  • Control the speed of the body in reproducing cells.
  • It helps growth in children.
  • Optimizing brain growth, especially in children.
  • Activates the nervous system to increase the focus and speed of reflexes.

In general, the overproduction of the thyroid hormone will make everything in the body run faster than it should. Likewise, on the contrary, the body's effects will also be felt if the thyroid hormone is produced in too little amount.

To be able to work optimally, the thyroid hormone requires a stimulus from the pituitary gland. The gland in the brain will produce, store, and release thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) or trigger the production of thyroid hormones. The amount of TSH is one of the markers of high or low thyroid hormones in the body.

The Impact of Excess Thyroid Hormones

Because the role of the thyroid hormone is very important for the body, maintaining its stability becomes very important to do. One condition that can affect the thyroid hormone is hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is a condition when the thyroid gland produces too much hormone, so the levels of thyroid hormones in the blood become very high.

Some of the symptoms below can occur if someone has too much thyroid hormone or his thyroid gland is too active:

  • Experiencing weight loss.
  • Trembling or tremor.
  • Experience hair loss.
  • Being nervous.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • The body sweats excessively.
  • Sensitive or not resistant to hot temperatures.
  • Restlessness and insomnia.
  • Easily tired.
  • Heartbeat is fast.

Impact of Deficiency of Thyroid Hormones

The amount of thyroid hormone that is too little is better known as hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is unable to produce enough thyroid hormones. This is what makes the body's metabolic process disrupted.

Some symptoms of thyroid hormone deficiency include:

  • Having a slow body metabolism.
  • Easily gain weight.
  • Easily tired.
  • Memory disorders.
  • Difficulty defecating or constipation.
  • Too sensitive to cold air.
  • Heart rate is slower than normal conditions.
  • Have dry skin.
  • Has a hoarse voice.
  • Dry and easily broken hair.
  • Experiencing depression.

Thyroid Hormone Therapy

Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are conditions that must be addressed immediately because these two conditions over time can cause complications for the body.

Thyroid Deficiency Therapy

Hypothyroidism can be easily treated using thyroid hormone drugs. The most effective and reliable thyroid replacement hormone is a synthetic hormone.

The treatment goal in hypothyroidism is to reverse clinical development and improve metabolic disorders, as evidenced by normal levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and Thyroxine (T4).

Synthesis of thyroid hormones is given to increase or replace the production of endogenous thyroid hormones. In general, hypothyroidism can be treated with a constant daily dose of levothyroxine (LT4). For most cases of mild to moderate hypothyroidism, the levothyroxine dose starting from 50-75 mg/day can be sufficient as a therapeutic dose.

Thyroid Excess Therapy

Hyperthyroidism can be treated with antithyroid drugs that inhibit thyroid hormone production (especially methimazole; propylthiouracil is currently only used in women who are in the first trimester of pregnancy).

Another option is to treat radioactive iodine to damage the cells that make thyroid hormones. In rare cases where women do not respond or have side effects from this therapy, surgery to remove the thyroid (one part of the entire gland) may be needed.

The choice of treatment depends on the cause of the severity and the underlying symptoms, age, pregnancy, other possible conditions, and potential side effects of the drug.

Symptoms of thyroid hormone disorders can resemble other diseases. In women, the condition of excess or lack of thyroid hormones can both affect the menstrual cycle. If you or a family member experiences the symptoms mentioned above, immediately consult your doctor for thyroid examination. Given its vital function, interference with thyroid hormones cannot be underestimated and needs to be addressed immediately.



1. Mullur, R., Liu, Y., & Brant, G. NCBI. Thyroid Hormone Regulation of Metabolism. Physiological Reviews

2. Stöppler, M. & Mathur, R. MedicineNet (2018). Hyperthyroidisme Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, and Diet. 

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