Meet the gland that can increase your energy, give you better sleep and weight management: The thyroid.
Did you know that more than 12% of the U.S. population will have a thyroid condition at some point in their lifetime? Of those with thyroid disease, 60% are unaware that they have it.
The thyroid, the butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck, can either make or break performance in all areas of life.
Because healthy thyroid function is so key to living a healthy life, here are 5 basic facts everyone should know about their thyroid.
5 Basic Facts Everyone Should Know About Their Thyroid
Fact 1: The thyroid controls your energy
The thyroid gland controls how quickly the body uses energy. Without the thyroid, our bodies would not be able to convert nutrients into energy.
Simply put, the more thyroid hormone you have working, the more energy you will burn up.
The thyroid is also the major catalyst for muscle growth, and a clear and sharp brain while also shielding the body from wearing down from stress and disease.
Fact 2: The thyroid gland can be overactive or underactive
Thyroid problems can come on both sides of the coin: Hypothyroid and Hyperthyroid. We can start to understand if we fall on either side by testing for Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which is released by a small gland at the base of the brain. It basically does what the name implies: it stimulates the release of thyroid hormone, and is therefore a useful feedback mechanism.
Low thyroid function is known as Hypothyroidism, which can leave you feeling fatigued, overly cold, and suffering from lack of focus. In response to low thyroid function, the body may release TSH to try to stimulate more production of thyroid hormone. Therefore, high TSH levels can be a marker of hypothyroidism.
The most common form of Hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In Hashimoto’s, the body sees the thyroid hormone as foreign and attacks it. Symptoms include fatigue, sensitivity to cold, excess weight gain, poor circulation, dry skin, loss of hair, depression, and poor digestion.
Conversely, Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid is too active. In the case of Hyperthyroidism, less TSH is released and blood levels will be low. When you have a super active thyroid, you’ll burn up a lot of energy. You could find yourself often restless, and may experience hot flashes. Symptoms include anxiety, goiters, and weight loss.
Fact 3: The Thyroid gland is the master metabolism gland
The thyroid secretes T3 and T4, the thyroid hormones essential to metabolism. T3 and T4 are important because they allow you to analyze and modify your body’s efficiency in regulating energy, enabling you to enhance weight loss and decrease weight gain.
The body will not be able to burn fat when the thyroid slows down.
A poorly functioning thyroid can impact with your weight in other ways, such as interfering with exercise by either eliminating the possibility of building muscle or causing you to cancel your workouts altogether, due to fatigue.
Fact 4: The thyroid requires Important nutrients
TSH levels can be maintained through proper nutrition that regulates your iodine intake, a nutrient essential to forming both T3 and T4. These foods also provide you with other essential vitamins and nutrients, which include tyrosine, B vitamins, vitamin A, selenium, zinc, magnesium, and essential fatty acids.
We highlighted a few different foods that support thyroid health. Some foods can even be found in multiple categories – how’s that for efficient nutrition!
Fact 5: Typically, women are more prone to thyroid issues than men.
According to the American Thyroid Association, women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to have thyroid problems. Many thyroid abnormalities are seen during times of fluctuating reproductive hormones such as pregnancy and perimenopause.
Read one woman’s story of unexplained weight gain and what she learned was actually happening.
How WellnessFX Can Help
Thyroid imbalances are traditionally difficult to identify and diagnose. Many blood tests for thyroid only test TSH, however a more comprehensive panel will shed more light into one’s thyroid function.
We believe in the power in a drop of blood. WellnessFX’s Advanced Thyroid panel includes the additional biomarkers needed to give clear insight into thyroid function for those that need that deeper dive.
This panel will help identify and improve thyroid challenges, especially for women.
The information you learn here can put you on track to higher energy, better sleep, and better weight management.
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.