What is it?
Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the front of your neck
(Image: National Cancer Institute)
What does it do in your body?
The thyroid plays a vital role in hundreds of biological functions including the regulation of metabolism, mood, hormones, cognitive and mental function. Along brain development and function, controlling body temperature, breathing, heart rate, nervous system functions, muscle strength, skin health, and hormones that support menstrual cycles, fertility, mood, weight and cholesterol levels.
Your thyroid determines how effectively you burn calories, lose weight, balance your energy levels, and maintain bowel movements, regulation of periods, supports during pregnancy and breast milk production, and your ability to concentrate and remember things plus so much more.
How does the thyroid do this?
Through the production of two main thyroid hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). The active form is T3 which is produced via the conversion of T4 to T3 throughout the body, especially in a healthy liver, explaining why T4 is produced in larger amounts.
However, for the thyroid to know it needs to produce these hormones it first has to receive the message to produce thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) which is made by the pituitary gland in the brain. This message is signalled when thyroid hormones levels in the blood are low – triggering the release of TSH which then increases T4 to then increase T3.
This then leads to the question of what effects the production of TSH, T4 and T3.
Things that can effect
Above are some of the major things that can affect your thyroid and hormones, which we will explore in even more detail over my next few blog posts so keep your eye out for that.
However, one other thing to think about for now is the role that both the thyroid and adrenals play in many of the same functions and can be imbalanced by the same root causes therefore it is often necessary to treat both of these areas to get the most beneficial results.
If you are concerned about the health of your thyroid, stress levels, inability to lose weight, changes in bowel function or decreased energy levels it might be time to get your thyroid checked.
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