Let’s start with a quick anatomy review. Your thyroid is a tiny butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of your throat (1). Your thyroid gland is an endocrine gland, which means it produces and releases hormones.
The thyroid hormones produced by your thyroid gland (thyroxine and triiodothyronine), exert an effect on all of your cells (2). Some of the functions that are controlled by your gland include but are not limited to:
- Heart rate
- Body weight
- Cholesterol levels
- Menstrual cycles
- …and so much more!
With all that your thyroid does, it is not difficult to see why when your levels begin to fluctuate you can start to experience a wide array of symptoms ranging from constipation to anxiety to weight gain and even insomnia.
Your thyroid gland does a lot and here are 5 more things to know about YOUR thyroid gland:
- Oral Contraceptives can reduce the efficacy of thyroid medication.
- You need a healthy liver for optimal thyroid conversion.
- Stress suppresses thyroid function and reduces the conversion of T4 to T3,
- T3 is about 5x stronger than T4.
- TSH is not the only way to assess thyroid health. You can have perfectly normal TSH levels but, sub-par conversion of T4 to T3. Other key thyroid markers include Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies, Free T4, and Free T3.
- Thyroid gland: Overview – endocrine web. (n.d.). Retrieved June 30, 2022, from https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/thyroid-nodules/thyroid-gland-controls-bodys-metabolism-how-it-works-symptoms-hyperthyroi
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Thyroid problems | hypothyroidism | hyperthyroidism. MedlinePlus. Retrieved July 1, 2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/thyroiddiseases.html#:~:text=Your%20thyroid%20is%20a%20butterfly,how%20fast%20your%20heart%20beats.