What Does the Thyroid Even Do?

Before I was diagnosed with any kind of thyroid condition, not only didn’t I know what the thyroid did, I didn’t even know where it was!

Now, I do have a family history of thyroid conditions, but I never thought to ask about it or educate myself in any way. I thought it wouldn’t affect me, I never knew that it could be hereditary.

I did have a golden retriever who had a thyroid problem.. all the hair on her tail fell out… but that may be a story for another time.

So, what is the thyroid gland and what does it do?

Those are some great questions.

The thyroid is a gland that sits near the base of your neck. It produces two hormones: T3 and T4, which help regulate metabolism. Metabolism can affect weight, how fast the heart beats, how deeply you breathe, cholesterol, body temperature and menstrual cycle. The pituitary gland tells the thyroid how much of these hormones your body needs by producing TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone. (Learn more from WebMD)

Iodine is the fuel your thyroid needs to produce T3 and T4. You get iodine from your diet, it can be found in seafood, iodized salt, bread and milk (some people may need a iodine supplement, but make sure to always consult with your doctor). Your thyroid gets the iodine needed to produce said hormones from the bloodstream. (Learn more here)

What happens if your thyroid is not working properly?

Well, your thyroid can be either overactive (hyperthyroidism), meaning it produces too much hormone or it can be underactive (hypothyroidism), which means that the thyroid does not produce enough hormone.

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, increased heart rate, muscle weakness, increased heart rate, heat sensitivity and more. While symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, slower heart rate, fatigue dry skin and hair, sensitivity to cold and others.

So how do we keep your thyroid healthy?

First and foremost, like with any kind of medical condition, a healthy diet is very important to ensure that you get all the proper nutrients. There are also some kinds of foods that you may want to avoid or supplements that may be beneficial to you, but make sure to consult with your doctor before making any or too many changes.

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your health care provider 

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