About such an organ in the human body as the thymus gland, few have heard. And information about how serious consequences can have her disease, in general, remains beyond awareness. What is this thymus organ? Where is she located and should she be examined regularly? Let's open the veil of secrecy!
What is the thymus gland?
The thymus gland (in medicine it is called the thymus or thymus gland) is located in the lower part of the neck and partly captures the sternum. Internal organs, limiting its location - the edges of the lungs, trachea and pericardium.
The thymus gland is formed in the first month of pregnancy, and at the time of the birth of a child reaches 10 g. Up to 3 years there is a sharp increase, the maximum volume is fixed at 15 years (up to 40 g), after which the gland decreases again in size. Gradually, its tissues are replaced with fat, and iron returns to the volume of 7-10 g.
The thymus gland in newborns consists of two lobes, in which, in turn, there are also lobules separated by connective tissue. Thymus belongs to the endocrine glands. The main function of this body is to ensure the functioning of the immune system, the renewal of brain cells and the production of antibodies. Enlarging, reducing the size of the gland, going beyond the norm, its absence, tumors lead to impaired immunity.
In children, problems with the thymus can be recognized by the symptoms:
- enlarged thymus on X-ray;
- enlarged lymph nodes, adenoids, tonsils;
- violation of the heart, hypotension;
- hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), fever;
- overweight (in boys);
- marble pattern on the skin;
- weight loss;
- frequent regurgitation;
- cough in the absence of cold.
Diseases of the thymus
There are several groups of diseases of the thymus gland in adults. The symptoms of these diseases will have some differences.
Most often occurs in young, but not excluded and in more mature age. It happens inflammatory and tumor. Symptoms of the disease are practically absent. Detected by x-ray. Danger of hemorrhage at rupture.
The disease is the appearance of tumors in the gland in the form of lymphoid follicles. The size of the goiter may remain the same. Hyperplasia usually accompanies other serious diseases: myasthenia, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune anemia, and others.
This is a congenital disease characterized by a lack of parenchyma and a decrease in the number of leukocytes. Most often accompanied by intestinal and pulmonary infectious diseases that can be deadly for the patient.
Manifested in increased fatigue and weakness of the muscles, sticking of the eyes, difficulty swallowing and speech, nasal voices. The reason may be in blocking the neuromuscular transmission. Most often manifested in the disorder of the organs of vision and respiration. The danger is myasthenic crisis, in which there are motor and respiratory disorders.
Tumor in the thymus gland. Can be benign and malignant. Often proceeds without symptoms, but with pressure you may experience shortness of breath, pain, cyanosis of the face. Diseases can be congenital and acquired. The nature of the latter has not yet been clarified. Occasionally, the medications used can affect the changes in the thymus: quinine, lidocaine, thyroid hormones, magnesium salts, and others.
To recognize violations in the thymus gland in adults is difficult. The main symptoms only create a suspicion of the disease:
- increased fatigue, weakness;
- frequent colds and infectious diseases;
- swollen lymph nodes, adenoids;
- difficulty breathing.
To determine whether a disease exists, can only a doctor after the examination.
Diagnosis and treatment
The main diagnostic method remains X-ray. Ultrasound is used less frequently due to the complexity of the study. Among the additional analyzes:
- Ultrasound of the internal organs, heart;
- blood and urine tests;
- hormonal analysis;
- immunogram (study of the composition of lymphocytes).
- surgical (if the thymus gland is enlarged and its removal is required, with tumors);
- injections of the thymus gland extract during the month (this therapeutic method was invented in 1940 and is used mainly by supporters of natural treatments);
- taking thymus preparations (corsicosteroids);
- diet therapy.
Nutrition plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of diseases of the thymus gland. Diet can be shown to both children and adults. The key elements that should be present in the food of the patient are:
- vitamin C (rosehip, broccoli, parsley, lemon, oranges, sea buckthorn);
- B vitamins (liver, beef, egg yolk, milk, walnuts, brewer's yeast, vegetables, sprouted wheat);
- zinc (pumpkin and sunflower seeds, nuts, beef).
New gland - the second youth
Modern studies have revealed a direct dependence of the state of the thymus on the rate of aging of the body. In connection with this, operations on transplantation of the thymus gland become fashionable. However, it is worth remembering that any surgical intervention in the work of this organ threatens to have irreversible consequences for a person and becomes a threat to his life. Therefore, to resort to surgery is necessary as a last resort.
The thymus gland is as important an organ as the heart, lungs, and liver. Even if we know very little about her, this is not a reason to carelessly treat her condition. At first suspicions of failures in the work of this modest, but such an important body, it is worth referring to an endocrinologist until the changes in the body become irreversible.