Thyroid Disease Series Part 1- What is the thyroid and what does it do?
AIP, Autoimmune Disease, Health

What is the Thyroid and What Does it Do?

Thyroid disease now affects at least 1:4 women in America.  Many thyroid disease experts suspect the numbers may be even higher and that less than 50% of people with thyroid issues even know it. While women are more likely than men to suffer from thyroid disease, an increasing number of men are being diagnosed as well.  This epidemic is concerning and significant research is being conducted to determine what is going on.

Thyroid Disease Series Part 1- What is the thyroid and what does it do?

People suffering from thyroid disease often refer to themselves as the proverbial canary in the coal mine.  The thyroid epidemic, in my opinion, is a direct reflection of the toxic world we’re living in. Awareness is being generated about thyroid disease and treatment is more available than ever.  I have been on a journey to recover and heal my thyroid for almost a decade now.  I want to start to share some of my knowledge with you in hopes that it will help you, or a loved one, on your journey to health. 

What is the thyroid?

Illu_thyroid_parathyroid

The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck.  It’s about halfway down your neck in the front. It is a vital part of the endocrine system, which includes the adrenals and pituitary gland. These three glands are often grouped together when looking at thyroid dysfunction, as all three glands work together.  Often when dysfunction is found in one, there are issues found in all 3. There are all kinds of hormones associated with the thyroid. Much more than we can go into detail with here!

What does the thyroid do?

The thyroid produces hormones for our body, helps regulate cortisol levels (which are related to how we handle stress and our sleep), and is involved in the functioning of nearly every other bodily system.  Thyroid dysfunction, as we’ll see in upcoming posts, can lead to imbalance and health concerns throughout the entire body. The thyroid is related to hundreds of other functions within our bodies. Diagnosis for a thyroid issue can be difficult because symptoms are not always cut & dry.

What are the common symptoms of thyroid problems?

Believe it or not, there are hundreds of symptoms which have been associated with thyroid disease.  Some of the most common are:

  • Fatigue
  • Inability to Lose Weight
  • Brittle Nails
  • Gluten Intolerance
  • Constipation
  • Low libido  
  • Low body temperature
  • Anxiety
  • Irregular Periods
  • Food Cravings
  • Depression
  • Inability to Loose or Gain Weight
  • Skin Issues
  • Moly & chemical sensitivities
  • and hundreds more which we’ll look at in-depth in a few weeks

Join me next week to learn about common thyroid labs & what the process is like to obtain a diagnosis of thyroid disease.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any health issues.  A healthcare practitioner should always be consulted if you have concerns about your health.

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