Since it is the controller of countless other hormones, if thyroid dysfunction happens it can wreak havoc on your health, creating discomfort and sometimes severe symptoms if hormone levels remain abnormal. Recognizing common signs and symptoms of thyroid problems and knowing when to seek medical attention could save you a lot of misery and potentially save your life.
What is the Function of the Thyroid?
The thyroid gland is a small, but powerful, butterfly-shaped organ that can be found at the base of the neck directly in front of the throat. It is in charge of releasing important hormones that control your body’s metabolism, it basically controls the way your system uses energy. The hormones emitted by the thyroid regulate important body functions, which include:
- Heart rate
- Body weight
- Muscle strength
- Cholesterol levels
- Menstrual cycles
- Body temperature
- Central nervous system functions
All of these are vital to your wellbeing. It is easy to see how a disturbance in the thyroid’s natural flow could cause major health risks.
How the Thyroid Gland Works
The thyroid is an inclusive part of your body’s endocrine system. The endocrine system is made up of many glands that create, store and release hormones, chemical biproducts produced throughout the body that controls the activities of organs and cells. The thyroid gland gathers and makes use of iodine found in the foods you consume to create two very important hormones:
- Triiodothyronine (T3)
- Thyroxine (T4)
There are ten steps to proper thyroid function. It is crucial that the T3 and T4 levels are level, neither too high or too low. These are controlled by communication between two glands located in the brain, the pituitary and hypothalamus. The hypothalamus gland makes the TSH Releasing Hormone (TRH), which alerts the pituitary gland to let the thyroid gland know to make more or less of T3 and T4. It will do this by either increasing or decreasing the excretion of the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
When the T3 or T4 levels are registering low levels in the blood, the pituitary gland will emit more TSH to alert the thyroid gland to start making more thyroid hormones. When the T3 or T4 levels are elevated, the pituitary gland will emit less TSH to the thyroid gland to reduce production of the hormone.
Why do You Need a Thyroid Gland?
T3 and T4 move through your bloodstream, reaching nearly every cell in the body. These hormones help to control the rate at which the cells and metabolism interact. If you are producing too little T3 or T4 it is referred to as hypothyroidism. If you suffer from hypothyroidism you may have a slower heart rate and slower digestion. If your T3 and T4 levels are higher than they should be it is referred to as hyperthyroidism. When struggling with hyperthyroidism you may experience a rapid heart rate, diarrhea and unintended weight loss.
Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism:
- Moodiness and/or irritability
- Sweating or hot flashes
- Thinning of hair
- Trembling of hands
- Light or absent menstrual periods
Other symptoms that may indicate hypothyroidism:
- Weight gain
- Insomnia or sleep disturbances
- Exhaustion and fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry skin and hair
- Heavy menstrual periods
- Joint pain
- Sensitivity to cold temperatures
How Can We Help?
If you have been struggling with thyroid problems, you have come to the right spot! Dr. Farley has been treating thyroid issues, along with other endocrine and neurological disorders since 1995. Unlike others who treat the thyroid, we use Neuro-Biomedicine to get to the root of your problem and start by checking brain functions, the immune system, other endocrine issues, environmental toxicities and nutrient deficiencies, then work down to the thyroid. This is method differs from the way most people treat thyroid problems. Dr. Farley will complete a thorough individualized examination to find out which issues are affecting your thyroid and come up with a plan for healing.