Sometimes, the smallest structures of your anatomy can have the biggest impact on your health. That’s especially true when it comes to your endocrine system. Your endocrine system is a network of glands that produces, stores, and distributes hormones that regulate virtually every cell, organ, and function in your body.
Of the 10 glands in your body, your thyroid gland has some of the most immense and varied responsibilities. Here, Dr. Michael Skardasis, our specialist at Optimal Performance Medicine, explores the role your thyroid plays in your health.
A closer look at your thyroid
Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of your neck. It gathers iodine from the food you eat to produce two main hormones: Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4). These hormones oversee a wide range of functions, including:
- Growth and development
- Heart rate
- Body weight
- Muscle strength
- Menstrual cycles
- Body temperature
- Cholesterol levels
Normally, the glands in your brain (the hypothalamus and pituitary gland) communicate with your thyroid to make sure that your T3 and T4 levels stay balanced; however, certain health conditions, genetics, and even nutritional deficiencies can throw them out of whack.
When that happens, you’re at risk for either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Both conditions can wreak havoc on your overall health.
Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone. This is most often the result of an autoimmune condition that attacks your thyroid. Some of the telltale symptoms of an underactive thyroid include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Chronic tiredness and fatigue
- Lack of concentration and impaired memory
- Frequent, heavy periods
- Joint and muscle pains
- Puffy face
- Dry skin
- Thinning hair
- Low body temperature
Because your thyroid is responsible for your metabolism and how your body processes the food you eat, it’s also common to notice unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight when your thyroid slows down.
On the other hand, hyperthyroidism develops when your thyroid errantly releases too much thyroid hormone. This triggers an avalanche of emotional health disturbances, such as anxiety, nervousness, and moodiness, as well as physical symptoms like sweating, trembling, and hair loss.
How we can help
Nearly 20 million people in the United States have a thyroid problem. What’s worse is that many of them don’t even realize it. That’s because many of the symptoms of a thyroid problem can be mistakenly attributed to another problem.
At Optimal Performance Medicine, we turn over every stone to discover what’s really going on with your health and wellness. If we determine that your thyroid is at the source of your symptoms, we create a treatment plan that focuses on supporting your thyroid. Often, that means starting a course of hormone replacement therapy.
Through hormone replacement therapy, we can fill in the gaps and give your body the amount of hormone it needs to function properly.
Suspect you have a thyroid problem? We’d love to talk with you. Don’t hesitate to call our friendly staff at 678-224-5406 or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment at our Woodstock, Georgia, office today.