12 Ways Your Thyroid Rules Your Life

Really, this butterfly-shaped gland is everything | Really, this butterfly-shaped gland is everything

12 Ways Your Thyroid Rules Your Life

By Madeline Holler,

It Influences Everything

Ways Your Thyroid Rules Your Life
Healthy thyroids are crucial for a healthy life. This small, butterfly-shaped gland sits at the base of your neck between your voice box and collarbone. It makes and stores hormones that play a role in nearly every organ in our bodies.

It's Sensitive

Ways Your Thyroid Rules Your Life
When your doctor recommends you get your thyroid tested, here's what they're looking for in the blood draw: how much of the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) serum is in your blood. TSH interacts with the thyroid gland and stimulates production and release of Thyroxine (known as T4) and T3, which are the two main hormones.

You Need to Watch What You Eat

Ways Your Thyroid Rules Your Life
Other foods we have to look out for when treating thyroids are coffee, kelp and seaweed. The coffee could lower the body's ability to absorb hormone medication. Kelp and seaweed are super high in iodine, which the thyroid relies on to stay healthy but can become debilitated by if you eat too much.

It Affects Your Blood Pressure

Ways Your Thyroid Rules Your Life
Too little of the T3 and T4 hormones, also know as hypothyroidism, cause us to get terrible sleep, feel tired, have difficulty concentrating, dry out our skin and hair, leave us depressed, cause a sensitivity to cold weather, cause women to have heavy or frequent periods, and give us joint and muscle pain. And a 2007 study found a link between thyroid disorder and high blood pressure.

It Can Cause Weight Gain or Loss

Ways Your Thyroid Rules Your Life
One of the two main hormones produced by thyroids, triiodothyronine or T3, helps to regulate our metabolism. Even small changes in the production or absorption can change things like body weight and energy levels.

It Affects the Heart and Bones

Thyroid hormones target all areas of the body, including the skeleton for bone breakdown and regrowth, the heart for making the walls pliable and the metabolic inner workings of all of our cells.

It Can Make You Depressed

12 Ways Your Thyroid Rules Your Life
Sometimes the thyroid can produce extra-high levels of hormones, which is known as hyperthyroidism. That can trigger rapid heart rates and bulging eyes, for example. Graves' disease is a frequent cause of hyperthyroidism and a condition where the body's immune system begins producing an antibody that targets cells in the thyroid gland.

It Can Cause Crushing Fatigue

Ways Your Thyroid Rules Your Life
For people whose thyroids aren't producing enough thyroid hormones—or those who have thyroids with maladapted hormone receptors—they might be experiencing hypothyroidism. Symptoms are frequent fatigue, constipation, dry skin and sensitivity to cold.

Hyperthyroidism Can Mimic Anxiety

Ways Your Thyroid Rules Your Life
When the thyroid produces too much T3 and T4 (also known as hyperthyroidism), it can mimic anxiety. Thyroid disorders can also cause irritability, nervousness or hyperactivity, sweating or sensitivity to heat, trembling hands, hair loss or missed and light periods.

Smoking Can Interfere With the Thyroid

Ways Your Thyroid Rules Your Life
Certain chemicals have been found to interfere with the work of thyroid hormones. These include chemicals found in cigarettes, as well as the environmental agents polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Your Thyroid Is In Charge

Ways Your Thyroid Rules Your Life
Your thyroid is in charge of vital bodily functions like breathing, heart rate, and your central and peripheral nervous systems. Thyroids produce and absorb hormones that determine muscle strength, body weight, women's periods, your body temperatures and even cholesterol levels.

You Need Meds, Not Supplements

Supplements and natural treatments for symptoms of thyroid problems generally aren't safe and might make the problem worse because they could change hormone levels in unpredictable ways. Ingredients in the supplements might block the receptors of thyroid hormones and send your system into a tailspin. Check with your doctor about any appropriate medications.


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Women's Magazine: 12 Ways Your Thyroid Rules Your Life
12 Ways Your Thyroid Rules Your Life
Really, this butterfly-shaped gland is everything | Really, this butterfly-shaped gland is everything
Women's Magazine
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